The registrar of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Olusegun Ajiboye, has suggested the deployment of officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to schools against the rising wave of insecurity in the country and the violent attacks on schools.
Mr Ajiboye suggested this on Wednesday while taking part as a guest at the third edition of “The Dialogue,” a virtual interactive stakeholders’ engagement initiative of PREMIUM TIMES in partnership with Strictly Speaking, a media and English Language training organisation led by a veteran broadcaster, Bimbo Oloyede.
The first series episodes of the initiative, which focuses on basic education, is sponsored by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) as part of its Regulatory Monitoring Project (REMOP) on basic education in Nigeria.
Mr Ajiboye, who informed the audience of the ongoing efforts of the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to develop a curriculum for schools on security studies, also emphasised the need for martial arts training for teachers and students across Nigeria for personal safety and defence.
He said; “The new curriculum that has just been developed on security education for the country focuses on security studies to be taught in the ambit of social studies and some other subjects.
“Also, the civil defence corps will be more apt in monitoring and policing our school(s) better, they will serve the right purpose if they are deployed to our schools to work. Martial art training is important for teachers and students for the betterment of our country.”
The programme, which was anchored by a veteran broadcaster and team lead for Strictly Speaking, Bimbo Oloyede, also featured Nafisat Abdulkarim, founder of Ninvolve for child Movement and Gabriel Ogunjobi, a correspondent with the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), who shared his field experience on a recent report which focuses on implications of farmers-herders clashes on basic education.
Speaking further on insecurity and the welfare of Nigerian teachers, the TRCN boss decried the poor welfare package for teachers in some states in the country, saying the development has compounded the woes of those he described as future builders.
“If you look at the teachers welfare it is very critical to insecurity that we are discussing because when you have a group of people that their welfare is not being taken care of, their salary cannot take them home, we have challenges with regards to some states that are not able to pay teachers as and when due – this obviously compounds the issues of insecurity in the country.”
Mr Ajiboye appealed to journalists to identify and report states owing teachers salaries, saying “hunger breeds insecurity.”
“You journalists can identify them and you should be able to follow them up – where teachers are being owed for months,” he said.
Mr Ajiboye, however, commended the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s investment in the Nigerian teachers, citing the implementation of 65-year-age retirement policy for teachers and the planned payment of allowance for teachers posted to rural areas, among others.
The TRCN boss also spoke about the collaboration with the Universal Basic Education (UBE) and its affiliates to review the curriculum for provision of quality education in Nigeria.
He hinted at the incorporation of professional standards skills and other components for teachers towards mitigating the effects of insecurity on schools.
“There is a synergy, even the review of the curriculum of quality education in Nigeria which started about two years ago. The National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) has been able to put in place certain things to be able to change some of the aspects of the curriculum to reflect current realities.
“For instance, at the level of TRCN is to incorporate the component called the professional standards for Nigeria teachers in the new curriculum. We have also been able to incorporate the aspect of code of conduct or code of ethics for Nigerian teachers. We are working in partnership with UBEC and other agencies.”
Meanwhile, the participants suggested the need for technology to improve security and improved infrastructure, and deployment of security personnels to schools.
“The use of technology is important now that we now have to deploy technology to improve the level of security in schools. CCTV can be mounted in schools,” Mr Ajiboye said.
He added that the security education curriculum that has just been developed will be able to provide such a solution.
Mr Ogunjobi suggested training of teachers and students on physical defence mechanisms such that “when there is any form of attack, they know how to defend themselves”.
On her part, Ms Abdulsalam believes that the timely responses from security operatives will help to minimise risk.
About the Dialogue
PREMIUM TIMES in partnership with Strictly Speaking- a media and English Language training organisation, launched the weekly roundtable forum, tagged “The Dialogue”- for education experts, policy makers, parents, students and other relevant stakeholders towards appraising the declining fortune of education in Nigeria.
The weekly forum, which is anchored by a veteran broadcaster and team lead for Strictly Speaking, Bimbo Oloyede, is designed to feature various experts and journalists who have recently published investigative reports on different challenges facing basic education in Nigeria.
The first six episodes of the programme, which focuses on basic education, are sponsored by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism.
It is targeted at advancing conversations around investigative reports sponsored by the centre and aimed at mobilising support for meaningful impacts.
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