The Registrar/Chief Executive of Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, Prof. Josiah Olusegun Ajiboye, has posited that covid-19 has woken the education sector from slumber. He made this disclosure in a chat with newsmen in Abuja. Excerpts;
Q: Introduce yourself sir.
A: I am Prof. Josiah Olusegun Ajiboye, the Registrar/Chief Executive of Teachers Registration Counci of Nigeria.
Q: What has the Covid – 19 done to education sector?
A: Thank you very much perhaps what Covid-19 has actually done to the education sector is to wake us up as a country. And because when you look at the deployment of use of technology for teaching, we are not there at all. We were actually caught napping as a country.
And because what other countries have been doing for several years – using technology to reach their children, both in school and out of school: For us, we are not prepared both at the level of infrastructure and even our teachers. We were not prepared to be able to use technology.
So, it was very difficult for us to grasp the situation at the beginning. Although, within the period so many things have gone in – a lot of training have gone in for our teachers. So many online programmes for Nigerian Teachers to be able to equip them with necessary skills to be able to reach their children.
You will discover that even our public School/Universities are still garbling with that challenge up till today. The teachers in private schools were able to quickly cut in to be able to deploy the use of technology, in reaching their children at home.
For the public schools, from primary to tertiary level- we were not prepared at all for this kind of experience. And so, it was a big challenge; but since Covid came we have all been woken up from our slumber to the fact that look the way to go in the twenty first century teachings. This is the way of blended learning – you have to combine both physical presence of the teacher with the use of technology.
And so that is what reality has done on us and if you now see what is happening; there is a lot scrambling now around for teachers to be able to prepare how to use technology and deploying technology to teach their children.
I think that is the reality that covid has actually brought, and now the government has actually realized that we need certain facilities especially technological materials in our schools to be able to cope. So, the teachers need the internet facility. People now talk of the use of bulk internet bundles, use of modem, use of so many things that we require to be able to reach our children.
So, it has woken us up from our slumber in the field of education. A lot of activities have gone into this at the level of Federal Ministry of Education. UBEC gave each state thirty million naira to be able to prepare their teachers. And TRCN has organized several conferences. We even organized a national conference for registered teachers – January 26 and 27, 2021, where the honorable minister participated from the beginning to the end of the first day of the conference. And it also centered on teaching in emergencies; in Covid environment and other emergencies.
That was the focus; how do we get our teachers to cope? A lot of things are needed both pedagogical and also psycho-social. So, these are the things. So, it has really woken us from our slumber to know that the direction to go for 21st century teaching is the way of blended learning.