Low-per­form­ing stu­dents dif­fi­cult to trans­form – NCCE scribe

Daily Trust - - EDUCATION -

HGen­er­ally, many peo­ple will say the stan­dard is low but what we have to con­tend with is the is­sue of ‘garbage in, garbage out.’ The in­sti­tu­tions that are train­ing teach­ers are do­ing a lot. What comes out of these in­sti­tu­tions has a di­rect re­la­tion­ship with what goes into them. When the in­put is good, the out­put will be good. When the in­put is bad, no mat­ter what the train­ing in­sti­tu­tions do, you will still not be able to com­pletely wipe away the de­fi­ciency and come out with the best of the prod­ucts. So, we have mixed out­put from our in­sti­tu­tions be­cause we have mixed in­put. The teach­ing method in our col­leges has been quite chal­leng­ing, time has changed, method­ol­ogy is chang­ing, new ways of teach­ing are evolv­ing, new fa­cil­i­ties have been de­vel­oped; some of them yet to come into our coun­try.

Why I am still talk­ing about the in­put, you re­mem­ber that in Nige­ria, the de­sire of ev­ery par­ent or of ev­ery sec­ondary school prod­ucts is to go to the univer­sity. So, the peo­ple that go to col­leges of ed­u­ca­tion do so out of the lack of good re­sult. That’s why we find out that at the end of ev­ery UTME, you have dif­fer­ent cut off points for univer­si­ties, poly­tech­nics and even lower cut off points for the col­leges of ed­u­ca­tion. So, at the end of it all, the kind of peo­ple that are ad­mit­ted into col­leges of ed­u­ca­tion are the ones univer­si­ties have re­jected. So, turn­ing such low qual­ity in­put into very won­der­ful out­put may not be easy but the col­leges are try­ing.

Do you think it is cru­cial to up­grade of teach­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tion to B.Ed at ba­sic level?

Teach­ers are needed at dif­fer­ent stages of ed­u­ca­tion from prepri­mary to ter­tiary level. None is Pro­fes­sor Mon­day T. Joshua, the Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary, Na­tional Com­mis­sion for Col­leges of Ed­u­ca­tion (NCCE), in this in­ter­view, says the qual­ity of Nige­rian teach­ers de­pends on the qual­ity of stu­dents adding that teach­ers en­counter dif­fi­cul­ties in trans­form­ing low-per­form­ing stu­dents. more im­por­tant than the other. In fact, if any­thing, it should even be the teach­ers at the very ba­sic level that should be more im­por­tant be­cause when the foun­da­tion is faulty, there is very lit­tle you can do up there. Teach­ers at that stage should be mo­ti­vated to do their own work and build solid foun­da­tion in the chil­dren.

Do you sup­port the switch from NCE to B.ED as the min­i­mum teach­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tion?

The switch will not change things. When we shifted from Teach­ers’ Grade II as the min­i­mum teach­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tion to NCE, how much did we achieve? It is not just the shift­ing that will do the magic; the ori­en­ta­tion of Nige­ri­ans also has to be changed. Many univer­sity grad­u­ates would not want to teach at pri­mary level. We know some so­ci­eties that have peo­ple with mas­ters and even PhDs teach­ing ele­men­tary ed­u­ca­tion. Un­til we change that ori­en­ta­tion, the is­sue of shift­ing the min­i­mum teach­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tion will not re­ally solve the prob­lem. What need to be done is to up­grade and for­tify the teacher train­ing in­sti­tu­tions to pro­duce qual­ity NCE teach­ers in the rel­e­vant ar­eas.

How can these col­leges be for­ti­fied?

The pro­pri­etors need to pro­vide the nec­es­sary fa­cil­i­ties. Ours is to do ac­cred­i­ta­tion. We don’t have con­trol over the fa­cil­i­ties that are be­ing owned and used by the col­leges to train the teach­ers. We only as­sess and ac­credit af­ter sat­is­fy­ing with the fa­cil­i­ties. That is one way. The other way is, the train­ers (lec­tur­ers) in the col­leges need to up­date them­selves. Time has changed and peo­ple have to go for ex­tra train­ing. The skills they have ac­quired be­fore trained may not be rel­e­vant now

There is also a call for NCCE to be changed to Na­tional Com­mis­sion for Teacher Ed­u­ca­tion. What’s your take on that?

The ar­range­ment in the coun­try now is that the NCCE su­per­vises the col­leges and the col­leges are pro­duc­ing teach­ers for the ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion level. Now the univer­si­ties pro­duce grad­u­ate teach­ers that are ex­pected to han­dle se­nior sec­ondary level and be­yond. But we will ap­pre­ci­ate a sit­u­a­tion where the con­cept of teacher ed­u­ca­tion is be­ing put to­gether, im­ple­mented to­gether and su­per­vised to­gether. We be­lieve that will be a neater and ef­fec­tive way of fac­ing teacher ed­u­ca­tion. We al­ways say, and it is cap­tured in our na­tional pol­icy, that no na­tion can rise above the qual­ity of its teach­ers. So, the po­si­tion of teach­ers in the na­tional de­vel­op­ment is very strate­gic. If we can have a com­mis­sion, a body that con­cen­trate on teacher ed­u­ca­tion in Nige­ria, we be­lieve it will be fan­tas­tic.

If we can have a com­mis­sion that co­or­di­nates teacher ed­u­ca­tion in Nige­ria at all lev­els, it will drive the pol­icy of get­ting teach­ers right from the ba­sic to ter­tiary level, just as we have NBTE which su­per­vises tech­ni­cal ed­u­ca­tion.

What’s your take on en­try qual­i­fi­ca­tion into col­leges of ed­u­ca­tion?

We don’t re­ally com­plain about en­try qual­i­fi­ca­tion. The en­try qual­i­fi­ca­tion to col­leges is four cred­its just like the poly­tech­nics, while five cred­its for the univer­si­ties. The is­sue is not en­try qual­i­fi­ca­tion but the de­ci­sion of the per­son seek­ing ad­mis­sion. Many ad­mis­sion seek­ers don’t not have teach­ing in mind but only get to col­leges af­ter failed at­tempts to se­cure ad­mis­sion in the univer­sity. In­stead, of stay­ing at home, they get to the col­leges re­luc­tantly to read NCE. Such per­sons will lack what we called in­trin­sic mo­ti­va­tion and that will af­fect their per­for­mance in the col­lege.

Pro­fes­sor Mon­day T. Joshua

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