Ibrahim Shekarau, the Minister of Education, has said plans are in progress to make bachelor’s degree the minimum teaching qualification in Nigeria.
Speaking with the Finland Ambassador to Nigeria, Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhur, Mr. Shekarau said the Federal Government would explore all measures to restore the lost respect, dignity and status of teachers in Nigeria.
Mr. Suomela-Chowdhury disclosed that teachers in Finland have a minimum of master’s degree. He also said the profession is highly competitive in his country because of a huge interest from too many qualified people.
“In 1980 the minimum teaching qualification to teach in schools was National Certificate in Education but this could be upped to first degree soon.” Mr. Shekarau said.
Adding that, there are already a number of graduates teaching in primary schools in Nigeria.
He said Nigeria was able to get over the practice in the past, where primary school leavers were engaged to teach.
He recalled how the level was raised to Teacher Grade 3 in the sixties and later, in the early seventies, it was a minimum of Grade 2 but this was later phased out in the eighties to a minimum of NCE.
He said the federal government would soon come up with a proposal to encourage special scholarship awards by all tiers of government to students from secondary schools who want to study education in universities and teacher training institutions.
Noting that no nation could rise above the level of quality of its education system, He stated that the Federal Government would soon call for a national teachers’ summit to discuss how to raise the quality of teachers in Nigeria.