Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, has declared that open and distance learning remained 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 in Kaduna, weekend, noted that the seriousness of the teachers' deficit was such that urgent steps must be taken to ensure that more Nigerians had access to quality teacher training.
Wike noted that the fact that the NTI had graduated over 58,000 qualified teachers between 2005 and 2011 underscored the importance of open and distance learning to addressing teacher deficit.
He said: "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 retrai-ning teachers using distance learning techniques."