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Nigeria: Re-Training of Teachers Enters Final Lap

Yinka Kolawole Oshogbo And Funmi Ogundare in Lagos
This Day (Lagos)
September 19, 2006

The nationwide re-training of 145, 000 teachers entered its last lap on Monday with the training of 4, 000 teachers each in Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo States.

Jointly organized by the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Teachers Institutes (NTI), the training, which ends on Saturday, is taking place in four centres in each state.

In Osun State, the centres are, Fakunle Comprehensive High School, Osogbo, Ilesa Grammar School, Baptist High School, Iwo, and Akinorun Grammar School.

The re-training workshop is focusing on innovative techniques of teaching the four core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. There are also manuals on School Based Assessment (SBA) and improvisation of instructional materials.

In his message to the workshop, the Director and Chief Executive of the National Teachers' Institute, Kaduna, Dr. Ahmed Modibbo Mohammed observed that the re-training of teachers had not received the desired attention from local, state and federal governments. This has affected the quality of tuition in the schools.

It was in recognition of this that the federal government, under the Millennium Development Goals project, directed the Institute to re-train 145,000 primary school teachers this year.

The teacher is the most important of all resources needed to actualise the education of the child. There must be adequate number of qualified teachers who are competent enough to take him/her through. There is also the need for them to prepare various types of assessment instruments, in addition to their regular lesson notes instructional materials.

In the light of this, the Act No. 7 of 1978 mandated the NTI to train, upgrade and update the skills of practicing teachers at all levels.

Some of the participants remarked that the training would particularly help in the effective use of SBA, the development and administration of test items for SBA and standardisation of SBA scores, as well as enhance their understanding of the role of SBA in public examination.

The SBA manual explains it as a practice that broadens and expands the mode of assessment in the school in order to facilitate and enhance learning. It is broadened to impact on the child's readiness, capacity and interest to learn. These include the subject teachers, class peers, parents, as well as the child. All these categories of people are incorporated into the assessment process to support and enable the child want to learn.

One of the coordinators Mr, Seun Opaleye observed that the workshop would encourage teachers to plan and use simulation and games in their teaching, so that pupils can perceive learning as an interesting and pleasurable activity.

In Lagos State, the four centres are Government College, Agege; Government College, Eric More, Surulere; Ajeromi Grammar School, Amuwo Odofin as well as Odo Abara Grammar School, Epe

On how the 1, 000 teachers in each of the centres were selected, a representative from NTI, Lagos State Office, Mr Chris Agbata said the teachers had been told about the programme during the holidays and given registration forms to fill. These were to be submitted with three passport photographs at their local government council. "They were drawn from different local governments in Lagos and divided into four centres, from where 1, 000 teachers were finally picked. Registration began on Sunday and was concluded at most of the centres on Monday.


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