The Director, Certification and Licensing, TRCN, Dr Jacinta Ezeahurukwe has confirmed that no fewer than 15,750 teachers have sat for the November Diet of the Professional Qualifying Examination for teachers across the country.
Dr. Ezeahurukwe who made the disclosure while speaking with newsmen during the conduct of the examinations in Abuja on Saturday, noted that the examination would ensure that teachers were licenced before going into the classrooms.
The examination is conducted by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) to test the professional knowledge of those in the teaching profession.
“TRCN PQE is taking place all over the nation, it started on Nov.23 in some states, some other states wrote yesterday and today the remaining states are writing.
“In all we have 15,750 teachers writing the examination for the batch B across the country. There was a time we conducted exams for over 100,000 candidates . Our target is for those that have not registered.
“The exam is mandatory because teaching is a profession and for every profession, there must be a professional qualifying examination.
“One of the features of a profession is that apart apart from getting the academic qualification, the person must have a qualifying examination and must be registered and license.
“If you don’t write this examinations how do we know you are qualified to be registered as a teacher. So this examination is not testing subject knowledge, it’s testing the professional knowledge of the teaching profession,” she said.
Ezeahurukwe said that the qualifying examination provided the content at the foundational knowledge that a teacher must possess and exhibit, saying this is however contained in the teachers professional standards.
She, therefore, said that the results were expected to be out in two weeks.
“This is a computer exams and we expect that as candidates are writing the computers are marking. However, we still take our time to sieve out the results, analyse it, look at it and have the management to consider it and approve.
” The exams written in batches will not in any way lead to malpractices as no two persons write the same exams.
” The questions are jogged, different categories have their own questions. Question for category D, which is for NCE holders is different from category C- first degree or Bachelor of Education or PGD.
“Questions for category B-Masters degree are also different from that of category A, those with PHD. So the questions are never the same, they are according to your category,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, David Adejo, who commended the process said it would go along ong way in improving the quality of teachers in the country.
Represented by the Director of Reform Coordination and Service Improvement in the ministry, Dr Yusuf Saidi, Adejo said it would also encourage the quality teaching in schools.
He called for more support for the council to deliver on their mandate in ensuring that Nigerian teachers were licensed to do their jobs.
“In any profession, we have a regulatory body, so what they need now is the necessary support to carry out their mandate.
“So with this you will see that the quality of teachers we produce will be as desired and as required. If you have a professional that anything goes there, this will regulate them.
“The TRCN is making sure that the same person that registered for the exams is the same person writing the exams.
“So no one can go in there and write for anybody. This will go along ong way in improving the quality of teachers in this country,” he said.
Speaking with some of the candidates, they expressed confidence in the examinations, saying that it would help to wield out quacks from the system.
Dr Olu-Andrew Kayode, Nasarawa State Secretary of National Association of Private School (NAPPS), said the process of the examination would help to improve the quality of teachers in the country.
According to him, the world is going digital and we must not be left behind as a nation, gradually we are getting it so that we can of course meet the global standards with other nations of the world.
“So far, the process is very free, as an educationist, I want to say that the examination is very simple to approach and to allay the fears of people that thinks CBT is something that is very difficult.
“With what I have experienced today, just a knowledge of simple computer approach and ability to read and write will help you to excell in this exams.
“The process of the examination will help to improve the quality of teachers. It is essential and gradually everyone will go digital in improving their knowledge,” he said.
Speaking on the treatment of teachers at different levels, Kayode said the professionalisation of the exams would assist in phasing out the quacks as the rightful owners of the profession.
“We are taking over and with time I know the government also will treat us like other professions,” he said.
Another candidate, Mr Luka Gabi, commended TRCN for the introduction of CBT in her examinations while calling for upgrade
The experience is a memorable one. This is a professional exams comparing with other professionals, I know the . This exam is an indication that teaching profession is upgraded with standards.
“CBT is a growing exercise in the country. With the experience here today in the class, the systems are all working well, the hitches were minor and arrested.
“So it’s quite a good one but we are not there yet, we expect upgrading of the system to deliver effective service to the people,” he said.
In the same vein, Mrs Chioma Okpara, also a school owner who participated in the examination advised teachers who were yet to be certified to do so to partake of the benefits of the certification.