Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, has declared that open and distance learning remain a critical strategy of addressing the challenge of well trained teachers in the country.
The Minister who spoke in a keynote address to the Second National Teachers' Institute, NTI, graduation ceremony in Kaduna yesterday noted that the seriousness of the teachers deficit challenge is such that urgent steps must be taken to ensure that more Nigerians have access to quality teacher training.
Wike noted that the fact that the NTI has graduated over 58,000 qualified teachers between 2005 and 2011 underscores the importance of open and distance learning to addressing teacher deficit in Nigeria.
The Minister stated: "Put together, over 47,000 graduands will be presented with certificates during this ceremony. I wish to put it on record that this is a feat that cannot be easily achieved by any single conventional institution in the country.
"In fact, it is one of the reasons for the advocacy of open and distance learning particularly in emerging economies like ours. We should, therefore, not only encourage the NTI, but support her in our own different ways to actualise her mandate of training and retraining teachers using distance learning techniques". He reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government towards the improvement of the quality of Nigerian teachers for the overall improvement in the nation's quality of education