Plans by Federal Government to recruit half a million teachers from the pool of unemployed Nigerians to complement existing staff strength at the basic school level appears to have hit a major brick wall.
This much was gathered when Minister of State for Education,Professor Anthony Anwuka,estimated that approximately N240billion naira would be required by government to pay minimum remuneration to the teachers for a year and government has no clue where to source such funds from.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had during the 2016 budget presentation to the National Assembly, pledged to create new jobs by injecting 500,000 teachers into the education sector.
Although there has been diverse views and opinion on how the project should go,the inauguration of ten member Committee by the Minister of State in Abuja on Tuesday,gave further clue that government is at a crossroad on how to implement the project.
According to Anwuka,since the Presidency had given the pledge to create half a million jobs in the 2016 appropriation Act, there ought to be proper arrangement on who should actually own the project, whether the federal or state governments.
He gave himself away when he noted that the mandate to implement the programme was an herculean task,hence the need to brainstorm and spell out appropriate ways to go about it.
“The ministry rely very much on the 2016 budget speech of Mr President on the shortage of teachers in public schools across the country,in which he promised to recruit, train and deploy 500,000 unemployed graduates of NCE holders to primary schools.
“But let me spell out some very important areas that we need to consider,how will we identify these 500,000 potential teachers? Secondly, is it possible to source the 500,000 teachers out of the already trained but unemployed NCE and graduates as teachers.
“How will they be distributed to the states,is it on equality of states or will it be based on the justified needs of the states. What would be the role of the states in funding and supervision of the project.
“How sustainable would the project be,is it going to be a one stop affair or annual and continuous,what would be the name of this project,is it basic education course?
“Who owns the project,the Federal government or the states, in that wise what is going to be the possible interplay of a result of the fact of education being on the concurrent list.
“The untrained graduates who have not be trained in education, what would be the plan of training them to be qualified teachers? Are we going to advertise and apply and we give them provisional employment subject to their obtaining teaching qualification and how long will that be? If we place a moratorium and then after giving them provisional appointment, do we say six months or one year you must have to obtain teaching qualification before your appointment is ratified?.
“How do we spell out the nature and duration of remedial and other refresher courses the selected trainee teachers will need to go through and to determine the viability,feasibility of the proposal in the first instance.
“Perhaps we also need to calculate the cost of the entire project and to take other measures that will in the judgment of the committee aid in the achievement of this objective”.
– Charity Simon, Abuja