Beyond TRCN Loud Noise: Who Is A Professional Teacher?
It was Enrico Colantoni who said “I believe that no one can teach you how to act, but schools do give you an environment to make mistake to learn techniques and to learn professionalism”. The recent and constant call by Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria on teachers in primary and secondary schools in the country that any teacher who is not registered with the body will be sacked by the end of the year is not only laughable and funny but unthinkable and annoyingly ridiculous.
This brings me to ask a pertinent question, “who is a professional teacher?” I was shocked in my study when I realised that globally what qualifies you as a professional teacher include academic work and practical experience.
In all states and countries, this means the professional qualifications of a teacher include a College or University degree and completion of a teacher preparation program and student teaching experience.
In the Nigeria context for instance, attendance and completion of a College of Education or University course of study with an NCE or a Bed, BAed , BSCed is just enough to make you a professional teacher. Like every other professions, teaching is not an exception in having a REGISTRATION BODY that will see to the affair of its members.
Recall that in reaction to the threat issued by TRCN recently to teachers, the Ogun State Chairman of ASUSS Comrade Akeem Lasisi said, “On the issue of the threat masterminded by Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria on teachers in the country, let me say it unequivocally that we are not against the TRCN’s operation but we are vehemently against the exploitative tendency of this body, let them sit up and perform their duties as a REGISTRATION body in Nigeria, we can’t forget in a hurry what this body did to our members who were seeking professional qualification but ended up wasting their precious time with PDE instead of PGDE while TRCN finds it difficult to rescue the situation, if they are bereft of ideas they should seek counsel from other registration bodies such as ICAN, NITP etc, a situation where they are only after money from members is not a welcome idea, let them be aware that teachers are not in any way afraid of writing examination.
Don’t be deceived TRCN cannot terminate your appointment because they are not your employer in the first instance hence Those of you that are not qualified but are teaching should go and do your PGDE in a conventional university”.
Is it not a shame to TRCN that out of all the Commissions across our public services the Teaching Service Commission and State Universal Basic Education Board are the only ones that have not being manned and controlled by non professional teachers? What has been the contribution of TRCN to ongoing pleading and cries by primary and secondary school teachers across Ogun State on the delay in the release of our 2016 and 2017 promotion letters?
What has been TRCN’s input to our various governments across the states on the overcrowding nature of our classrooms, under aged children being admitted to our primary and secondary schools? More importantly is TRCN comfortable with the dwindling Higher Institution Potential of our various schools and states?
Can we ask TRCN to sit up and up their game? Can they make the council more forthcoming and involving on teachers and teaching issue instead of turning themselves into “money collection agency?” Do we as pedagogical teachers need to remind our “muscle flexing TRCN” that we are not professionalised based on the form we obtain from them and the examination ‘they’ are making too scary as if its more than examination.
Let me end this with a word of advice to TRCN officials from Saili Jha, “What types of people you attract might give important cues about you”.
Ayannuga Olufemi lives in Abeokuta, Ogun State.