The Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, Wednesday queried how the Federal Government planned to identify graduates and National Certificate of Education teachers for the proposed 500,000 teaching jobs to boost basic education in the country.

He also queried how the proposed recruits by the government would be distributed across the country.

Prof. Anwukah expressed these observations on Tuesday in Abuja at the inauguration of a committee to work out how the proposed recruitment would be done.

The minister, who walked out journalists from the meeting after refusing to answer questions on the numbers of committee members, duration of their assignment as well as the chairman of the committee, urged the committee to come up with collective efforts that would reposition the country’s education.

He said: “How will we identify this 500, 000 potential teachers? Is it position to source the 500,000 teachers out of the already trained NCE and graduate education candidates? Is it possible to source this number of teachers from the pool of already trained but unemployed NCE and graduate education teachers?

“How will they be distributed to the states when they are recruited? Is it on a quality of states? Or will it be based on justified needs of the states? What will be the role of the states in funding and supervision of the projects? How sustainable will the project be? Is it going to be a one shut affair? Or is it going to be annual and continuous? What is the name of this project? Is it basic education cost? What are we going to call it? We must give it a name. Who owns the project?

“In fact your mandate, our mandate is to reposition education for the better in our country. And that is a very serious responsibility. The first leg in this very serious dance is the responsibility placed on us to recruit, train and deploy 500, 000 teachers, NCE and graduate teachers for our basic education sector.

“To kick start the effort, the ministry relied very much on the 2016 (2015) budget speech of Mr. President on the shortage of teachers in public schools across the country promised to recruit, train and deploy 500,000 unemployed graduates and NCE holders and deploy them to our primary school.

“It is the feeling that this measure will no doubt help to reducing the level of unemployment in the country and greatly aide in producing teachers and enhancing teacher quality.”

He said that the committee has the responsibility to examine and recommend the methodology to adopt in the recruitment, training and deployment of such teachers.

The committee in its terms of reference also has the responsibility to calculate the cost of the recruitment project.

The committee is also expected to take other measures that would aid in the achievement of the recruitment objectives.

He said: “To determine in addition the pedagogical communication and other skills critical to such teachers that will be recruited and trained. To spell out the nature on the ratio of the 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.

“These were the very broad terms of reference given to us. As I said it is a very big order. It’s a tall order of the federal government to actualize the provision of teachers in our basic education sector and at the same token scratch on the unemployment problem in the country by such recruitment.”


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