By Felix Khanoba
The Federal Government says the recently announced improved salary scale for teachers across the country will be ready anytime soon.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, stated this on Saturday in Abuja while monitoring teachers’ Professional Qualifying Examination (PQE), organised by Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria(TRCN).
He said plans are also underway to adopt a career path policy for Nigerian teachers to stem the spate of unqualified teachers in the country.
According to him, a national implementation committee will be set up soon in that respect.
“We are planning to lead entry for those with First Class or Second Class Upper as minimum, as we are serious about implementing the policy.
“Whether you are in the private sector, government, community or faith-based school, we will enforce this policy to the fullest.
“The first thing that is going to happen is that TRCN and NTI are compiling a database of qualified teachers.
“That is, those that have been certified and those who have taken this examination who are unemployed,” he said.
Echono added : “We are arranging an enhanced remuneration package for such teachers, those teaching sciences and peculiar allowances for teachers taking students with special needs.
“We are currently working on a special teachers salary scale.
“We are finalising the figure with national salaries income and wages commission and as we speak some of them have been proposed.
“We are working with stakeholders on making a presentation with NUT. We are also considering views of employers like state governments and private school owners.”
On his part, the Registrar of TRCN, Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, stated that the council started PQE with 7.000 and rose to over 40,000 in 2019.
He noted that the 2020 figure dropped to 17, 602 due to the COVID 19 Pandemic.
“We have a short period to register teachers for the examination and perhaps that is why there is a sharp drop in the number. However, we feel very strongly that we are going to pick up next year.
“We promised Nigerians to be having this examination at least two times a year that is why we have to go ahead.
“We will also commence registration for the next diet or set for 2021 to be held between February and March, ” Ajiboye said.