More than 11,350 candidates on Saturday participated in the first batch of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria’s Professional Qualifying Examination, PQE, across the country.
Registrar of TRCN, Prof Josiah Ajiboye, who disclosed this while monitoring the exercise at Sascon International School, Maitama, Abuja, said reports from across the country showed that the exam went on smoothly.
Ajiboye, who was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr David Adejo, further disclosed that Lagos State had the highest number of registered candidates for the examination with over 1,500 entrants, followed by Kano State and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
The TRCN boss noted that Kebbi State had the lowest number of participants in the exercise, stating the exercise recorded tremendous improvement in participation and the accreditation process.
“Well, generally, all over the country, we have about 11,350 candidates who are writing the exam, with Lagos State having the highest with 1500 plus candidates, followed by Kano State and FCT Abuja; then you have a state like Kebbi with the lowest number of candidates for the examination.
“There has been a lot of improvement with regards to even the accreditation procedure because part of what we did was to develop an app to accredit candidates, which is working perfectly well.
“We’re able to check your name, your passport photograph will also appear and everything like that, so we know that the people that are writing the exam are those who applied; so, it’s been going on smoothly,” he said.
He said the examination, which was conducted in all the federation states, started on Wednesday and was concluded in some states on Friday.
Ajiboye commended the candidates for displaying comportment, adding that their conduct “shows that there is maturity and the people now realise that this is serious examination.”
Speaking on the Federal Government’s effort to weed out unqualified teachers, he said one of the major processes of weeding out quacks in the teaching profession is the PQE, as it is now apparent that nobody can get the TRCN licence without passing a provisional qualifying examination.
“Even if you’re a professor in the university, you just have to write this examination before you can get the certificate and the licence. So, part of the process for weeding out this quackery in the profession is what we are on. And another thing that we are doing in that regard is school monitoring. You will recall that in February 2020, we started the school monitoring programme. Two boards.
“Monitoring is a continuous exercise. So, we are still on, we will not relent. And we have also processes for checking our certificates, the authenticity of those certificates. We have certain features in our certificates and the licence that actually will enable us to know whether it’s really a fake one or a genuine one. So, we are on top of it,” he said.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Education, Adejo, commended TRCN for the improvement in the accreditation process for the Examination.
“This year, documentation has a double level; first, you identify yourself, fill out the form, then you also cross-check your sleep with an app that was developed to give it authenticity. So, I think they are improving on an incremental basis every year on the process for professional qualification exam for teachers,” he said.
Adejo restated the Federal Government’s position that before you can be a teacher in any school, you must meet a basic minimum requirement, which is what the Teachers Registration Council is doing.
He added that as a result of efforts being made by TRCN, the level of quackery at the junior and senior secondary school levels is reducing, adding that the government is still working on cleaning the database of qualified teachers at early childhood and primary school levels.
One of the candidates, Mrs Titilope Yunusa, said she was sitting the exams for the second time as she could not make it in her first sitting, stating that she does not want to fail this time.
“I experienced difficulties in my first attempt because I don’t know how to operate the computer, but now I have learnt and can operate it; that is why I am here to retake the Examination, and I am confident of making a good result,” she said.