Why Teacher-Education Should Be Restructured in Nigeria- ACE Provost.

An educational expert, Dr. Samuel Akintunde, has advocated the need for teacher-education to be restructured in Nigeria, stating that the move would promote quality of teaching, boost the country's socio-economic development as well as encourage its cultural and technological advancement.


Dr. Akintunde, who is also the incumbent provost of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, made the statement while delivering a lead paper at the 10th Annual National Conference of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), which held between 6th-10th May, 2019 at the Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, Oyo State, Nigeria.


Quoting Imogie (1992) to buttress his points, the College administrator defined "Teacher- education as a formal programme, designed to produce academically qualified and competent corps of personnel, who will continue the process of transmitting worthwhile knowledge to the present generation, through the different levels of the school system."


He described teaching profession as very important in the society saying, when "the teacher is adequately trained, other aspect of the society (economic, social, environment and cultural) will also experience sustainable development, through the output of teachers."


The educational expert made a case for attainment of quality education in Nigeria, as specified by UNESCO in its 2012 recommendations, stating that the move would help in equipping teachers working in the country with a requisite knowledge that would make them have better understanding of the learners.


He equally stated that the step would help teachers acknowledge learners’ knowledge and experience, develop content relevant to needs of learners, adopting many teaching and learning processes (pedagogy and andragogy) that would boost understanding of learners as well as the creation of conducive and learning-friendly environment that would meet the need of learners.


He identified the role of education in national development, saying its role in human capital could only be attained, when "it is functional, qualitative and knowledge-economy driven" and had enough teachers that are produced from a dynamic and innovative teacher education system.


Dr. Akintunde expressed serious concern on what he observed as failure by successive governments in Nigeria to carry out recommendations made by the UN on the attainment of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), stating that urgent steps should be taken so as to prevent a repeat of the mistake, as "the country moves towards achieving the year 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)."


Describing teacher education as multifaceted in Nigeria, the COEASU 19th Annual National Conference lead paper presenter stated that the greatest challenge that could hinder the use of education as means through which the country could achieve the SDGs was caused by "several deficiencies observed in the structures that carries its educational system."


He listed the structures to include the establishment of coordinating institutions, which include National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), National Universities Commission (NUC) and the National Teachers Institute (NTI).


He, however, noted that in spite of the presence of these bodies the expectations of achieving a good teacher education policy in the country has become elusive because of "the glaring differences in the quality of the output of the different components in the structure, preferential treatment given by government in one structure than the other as well as poor funding, motivation and low ratio of teachers to students."


The College administrator listed seven recommendations that could be implemented by the government for teacher-education to be able to meet the United Nations Year 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in Nigeria, to include urgent review of current school curriculum, introduction of stringent admission criteria, and payment of teaching practice allowance to teacher trainees as well as harmonization of all coordinating/supervisory agencies.


Others were increment of allocation by government to teachers to attend conferences and workshops, collapse of all accreditation bodies into one  entity, undergoing of  teaching practice exercise for two terms of 24 months by student-teachers intending to go through proper training, total stoppage of abridged certification through scrapping of Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) programme.


On how proficiency of Nigerian teachers could be enhanced, Dr. Akintunde urged government at all levels in the country to urgently embark on adequate retraining of teachers as well as provision of good remuneration and welfare packages, saying the move would motivate and serve as source of encouragement to them.


While commending the Teacher Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) in its efforts to professionalize the teaching profession in the country, the College administrator, however, urged them to embark on the recruitment of agents for schools established by government and private sector.


 In addition, he urged the agency to show more aggression in its supervisory role by going to private schools to ensure strict compliance with rules and regulations, stating that the step would help discourage the practice of recruiting untrained teachers by their owners.


Earlier in his address of welcome, the Provost, Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, Prof. Usman Kamoru Olayiwola, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Theo Ajobiewe, described the conference as futuristic and timely.


Prof. Olayiwola mentioned corruption, insincerity and what he described as other anti- developmental elements "at various levels of our educational system" as some of the factors affecting restructuring of education in Nigeria.


As panacea, he advocated the need for all stakeholders in the educational sector to form a synergy, stating that the move would help in addressing the issues "holistically."


Also, in his address, the COEASU-FCE (Special) Oyo chairman, Comrade Nureni Olayiwola Oladeji, stated that the theme of the conference entitled "Restructuring Teacher Education Towards Achieving 2030 Education Agenda for Sustainable Development" was chosen by the union deliberately.


Oladeji explained that it was "to reflect our resolute to map out strategies and execute planned actions on how Teacher-education could be restructured in the Nigerian context to meet the United Nation's 4th of her 17-point agenda for global transformation expected of education by the year 2030."


He expressed appreciation to the keynote address speaker and lead paper presenter, Prof. C.O .O Kolawole and Dr. Samuel Akintunde respectively for their presence as well as staff of the College for contributing to the success of the conference.


The event held at Tim Obani Hall of the institution was attended by principal officers of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo: Registrar, Mrs Olufisayo Fakorede; Bursar, Mr Ganiyu Abdul; Acting Librarian, Mr. Akinade Awoyemi.


Also present were members of the executive of ACE COEASU as well as their counterparts from FCE-(Special) Oyo and delegates of various chapters of the union from across the country.


The event climaxed with the presentations of awards to eminent personalities including Comrade Makinde Solomon Aderemi; Engineer Kazeem Olajide Olatunde; Mr. Kamal Okunola; Dr. Jacob Adeyeye Durojaiye.


Other recipients include Mrs. Moriamo Adenike Abimbola; Mr Yemi Hezekiah Gbadegesin and Hon. Iheanacho Obioma.