A former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Peter Okebukola, has opposed the request by the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Lagos State wing, to convert some non-teaching staff to classroom teachers.
Mr Okebukola, a professor, spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday.
NAN reports that the NUT, Lagos State wing, had demanded that the state government should train and convert some non-teaching staff who were already used to classroom work to teachers.
The NUT had said this would cushion the effect of the shortage of teachers in the state public primary schools since the workers were already on the government’s payroll.
”I am 100 per cent opposed to a situation where you get non–teaching staff and then bundle them to class to go and teach,” Mr Okebukola said.
According to him, a teacher needs to rely on three-knowledge basis: content knowledge in the subject the teacher is expected to teach; pedagogy knowledge, which is the knowledge on how to teach; and also pedagogy content knowledge, which is the combination of the initial two.
The former NUC boss said that anybody in the world that had not got the three-knowledge basis had no place in the classroom.
” You cannot say because you are short of teachers, then you go bundle people to the classroom.
“You are going to worsen the situation, as 10 years down the line, the educational system will collapse and even enter the Atlantic Ocean.
“If you want quality education, get the teachers’ factor right because a third of quality education is explained by the quality of teachers, ” he said.
Mr Okebukola, however, said the best solution to the problem was to recruit people and train them on the three-knowledge basis before allowing them to go teach in the classroom.