The Federal Government has assured that plans are being made to ensure better digitally equipped centres for teachers across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, gave the assurance while inspecting the Batch B Professional Qualifying Examination (PQE) for teachers in Abuja.
Nwajuibua disclosed that the ministry of education is working closely with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Technology to use the digital bridge institutes already in the six geopolitical zones for exchange programmes and possibly future examinations.
He said, “we are working in collaboration with the Minister of Communication and Digital Technology to use the digital bridge institutes that have been built in the six geopolitical zones.
“We are trying to put this into use through an exchange programme and we are already working out the details.
“In the interim, the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) has been mandated to work with the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT).
“They are to work towards activating the one teacher one computer programme where the Ministry of Education will enable those who need laptops to have them.
“This is with a repayment plan of about three to four years.”
On the 2021 PQE, the minister expressed satisfaction with the conduct.
He said “we took time to monitor what TRCN has put in place for the conduct of the 2021 Batch B Professional Qualifying Examination for teachers.
“The integrity of the examination is clear and everyone is complying.
“From our assessment, we noticed there are 60 questions to answer within one hour and the computer will prompt you to review your answers.”
The Permanent Secretary, Sonny Echono, who also monitored the examination in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), expressed satisfaction with the conduct.
He said the federal government has embarked on major reforms in the sector, particularly with regard to teaching and learning.
He said, “the federal government is working to replace the traditional method of blackboard and teachers standing in front of students.
“It is working towards a learning environment that is Information Communication Technology (ICT)-driven with the teacher as a facilitator.
“Teachers will also begin to use facilities rather than what we are using in most of our schools today.”
On the deadline for all teachers to sit for qualifying examinations, the permanent secretary said, “it is true we gave a deadline to remove all unqualified teachers from schools.
“That created a lot of impetus and we had to schedule different diets for the professional examination.
“We have mandated the TRCN to do a marking of all qualified teachers both employed and unemployed in all the states of the federation.”
He said the data would be made available to the governors so that they can use it in recruiting qualified teachers when necessary.
The TRCN Acting Director, Certification and Licensing, Jacinta Ametepe Ogboso, disclosed that there was a decline in the number of candidates that sat for the 2021 examination.
She said it was largely due to the fact that many had written the examination in the past.
She also hinted that the conduct of the examination is getting better by the day, following more awareness and better use of ICT among teachers.
“We have 12,586 candidates for the examination across the 36 states of the federation, except Zamfara.
“No candidate was forwarded to us from Zamfara and that is largely because of the security situation in the state,” she said.