The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has said that December 2019 remains the deadline for dismissal of teachers in private and government-owned schools who are not licensed by the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria nationwide.

The minister stated this during a workshop organised by the Nigerian Union of Teachers on Thursday in Abuja.

The workshop was held in conjunction with two organisations, Education International and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

Adamu, who was represented by the TRCN Registrar, Prof Olusegun Ajiboye, said the Federal Government was not opposed to private participation in education, but it would not encourage commercialisation so as not to take education out of the reach of the poor.

The minister said, “With the position of the National Council of Education, the TRCN has been mandated that by December 2019, anyone who is not registered, qualified and licensed by the council will no longer be allowed in our classrooms. And this position will be enforced to the letter.

“Now, teachers still have the opportunity to take two professional qualifying examinations in May and October 2019 for them to get their registration and qualification.

“On commercialisation, it is obvious that the government can no longer fund education alone. So, private participation is encouraged. Education cannot be commercialised because it is not a commodity. We should dissuade anything that will lead to commercialisation of education.”

The NUT National President, Dr Mohammed Idris, said the union frowned at some state governments’ decision to handover of public schools to private organisations, warning that it would encourage commercialisation of education.

He said, “The NUT has, over the years, vehemently opposed the handover of public schools by some state governments to private organisations. Information indicates that only recently, some primary schools have been handed over to faith-based organisations by Abia State government without recourse to stakeholders.

“Such handover is a gross violation of the Universal Right to Education and the Compulsory Free Universal Basic Education Act 2004 which provides for a nine-year free and compulsory basic education for all children in Nigeria.

“Poor funding has also remained a major challenge in the management of primary education in Nigeria over the years. We are therefore concerned about the recent order by the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit that all allocations accruable to the Local Government Councils go directly to their respective bank accounts. This order is likely to return primary education to the pre-1994 era when funds meant for salaries of primary school teachers were used for other purposes.”

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