Nigeria must begin to offer incentives to attract first-rate candidates into the teaching profession and to retain them, the Federal Government has stated.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, stated this on Thursday in Abuja at a one-day exercise for sensitisation of on the implementation of the National Teacher Education Policy, NTEP.
The policy is the guiding document for the reform of teacher education in Nigeria and is made up of the policy document, implementation guideline and the monitoring and evaluation framework.
Mr. Adamu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Sunny Echono, said the goal of the policy is to produce quality teachers who would in turn produce an educated citizenry.
"The National Teacher Education Policy, NTEP, is designed to improve the quality of teachers in Nigeria and ensure development of the country and its global competitiveness," he said.
Mr. Adamu said the development of NTEP was hinged on the globally-accepted position that "the quality of education in a country determines its level of growth and development."
He said it is vital for stakeholders in the sector such as governors and teachers to help in charting the way forward for the implementation of the policy.
"We must produce teachers who can teach and motivate students to learn in ways that lead to a substantial, positive and permanent influence on how they think and act," he said.
The minister noted that capacity building is important to the enhancement and sustainability of the quality of teachers in line with global best practices.
"In order to get the best out of the situation, incentives must be offered to attract first-rate candidates into the teaching profession so as to retain them."
He said Nigerian teachers must accept and be willing to teach as well as bring technology to bear in their profession, noting that technology will ensure that education of tomorrow will be students-focused.
"Technology is bringing change and tomorrow, teaching will be more of a facilitator than teaching knowledge. This is the future we must adapt to and be willing to change and sacrifice", he said.
In his remarks at the event, the Permanent Secretary, Mr Echono, who was represented by the Director of Tertiary Education, Joel Ojo, said the policy objective was to produce highly-skilled, knowledgeable and creative teachers.
Mr. Echono said the policy would ensure teachers produce learners who would compete globally as well as are adequately catered for and made adaptable for today's changing world.
According to him, since teacher education remains the foundation of human resource development for the attainment of national growth and development, an educator must be exposed to adequate training and retraining programmes
Pauline Seenan, team leader, Department for International Development, DFID, said teaching practice in Nigeria had been strengthened with the use of technology and collaboration from international partners.