He said this while monitoring the May Diet of the Teachers Professional Qualifying Examination (PQE) organized by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) in Abuja on Saturday.
“We are dead serious about implementing the policy and we are also working very hard to ensure that we also are ready. The first thing that is going to happen is that TRCN and NTI are compiling a database of qualified teachers, those that have been certified, those who have taken this examination who are unemployed.
“And we are going to do it and even segregate them state by state and make them available to each state. That is going to be the starting point, that anybody who has been certified as a teacher should be employed because we have no excuse for that. We have a huge debt of qualified teachers, so all those that we have should be engaged to work, and all those who are not qualified we are sorry, we have to move them out of the system.
“Yes, there may be some issues relating to the number, that is why we want to ramp up the production process, we are taking so many measures. And, enforcement is very key. We have taken two steps toward ensuring enforcement. We have upgraded what we call quality assurance department. It used to be called inspectorate, we now have state offices in all the states of the federation.
“The second step is to re-establish the secondary education commission. It has just been approved by Mr. President to come on board and we are working out the modalities for how they will operate. What they will be doing, apart from mobilizing additional resources to that segment of our education sector, they will be enforcing standards. Indeed we are looking at even the possibility of collapsing our quality control and inspectorate division with the commission, to ensure we effectively monitor together with our colleagues in the state.
Echono reiterated that the deadline for flushing unqualified teachers from the classrooms remains December 31, adding that additional diets of the PQE may be conducted in order for teachers to meet up with the deadline.
The Permanent secretary commended TRCN for the smooth and simplified process of the examination describing it as being up to international standards. “As you can see, it is all electronic. There are no huge crowd or delays; you come in, do your biometrics and when you log in, your picture is displayed. So, there is no issue of anyone sitting on your behalf.’’
30,000 teachers wrote the examination in 50 centers nationwide.