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Physical verification of the certificates of teachers in public and private schools will begin on Monday, March 9, the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) has said.

The exercise will end on Tuesday, March 17, it added.

The council said only qualified, registered and licensed teachers by TRCN will be allowed to practise in the country after the verification.

TRCN’s Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, announced this yesterday in a statement in Abuja.

He said the council had put in place a crack team to enforce compliance.

The agency chief said the verification will take place in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and almost all the 36 states, except in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, where there are security challenges occasioned by Boko Haram activities.

Ajiboye said the agency was particularly keen on beaming its searchlights on teachers in private schools, where it has been alleged that most of them do not have requisite certificates.

The statement reads: “As the December 31, 2019 deadline given by the National Council on Education for anybody who wants to practise as a teacher in the country to get qualified, registered and licensed by TRCN has passed, the regulatory authority is embarking on verification of compliance in all the states of the federation and FCT.

“The TRCN team, in each state, will be led by a Professor of Education or a Provost of a College of Education. The first leg of the exercise will start on March 9 and end on March 17.

“However, this exercise will be continuous as TRCN has created a Compliance and Enforcement Unit at its head office for routine monitoring.

“Prior to the commencement of the monitoring, a technical team was set up by TRCN and a meeting was held with all the state coordinators where issues of logistics were discussed and harmonised.”

Also, Ajiboye opposed state governments which have made TRCN certificate optional in their recruitment of teachers.

“TRCN takes exception to some states making TRCN certificate optional in their recruitment of teachers. This practice must stop because it is mandatory for anyone who wants to profit from the job of a teacher to be registered with the regulatory authority.

“It is, therefore, considered absurd for any state to say ‘TRCN certificate will be an added advantage’; whereas that is supposed to be the number one criterion. This is the global best practice.

“There is no serious nation that allows just anybody into its classrooms to teach their children. There must be evidence of professional certification to practise as a teacher,” he added.

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