Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has said that a database of qualified unemployed teachers was being gathered nationwide to ensure such people are employed into the teaching profession.
Adamu disclosed this while monitoring the 2018 Batch B Teacher Professional Qualifying Examination (PQE) in Abuja on Saturday.
Newsmen report that the no fewer than 17,000 would-be-teachers are expected to sit for the Computer Based Teachers PQE nationwide scheduled to hold between Oct. 19 and Oct. 20.
Adamu, represented by Mr Sonny Echono, the Permanent Secretary, reiterated that by December 2019 any teacher not qualified, registered and licensed with the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) would be flushed out of the classrooms.
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"We have decided at the level of policy, henceforth, after Dec. 2019 anybody that is not a qualified, registered and licensed teacher would not be accepted in the classroom.
"Let your colleagues know there will be no extension by 2019 because we are compiling a database of qualified teachers, who are not employed.
"It makes no sense for us as a country to have people who are qualified and out of job and we have unqualified people in those jobs.
"We want to make sure that anybody who has this certification has a job, so we are going to ensure that is done first.
"Others who would be driven away from the classrooms would create space for those who have this certification and they will be employed," he said.
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He added that those who would not meet the deadline would have to leave but would have the opportunity to return after taking the PQE, which he said is a continuous exercise.
The Minister said the Federal Government was committed to upgrading the status of teachers to attract the best brains into the profession.
According to him, through this certification process teaching profession would not be seen as political patronage again, especially in the states.
"We have a programme were non-teachers are being recruited for two three years to teach in schools, we are looking at the possibility of abrogating that from next year."
Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, the Registrar, TRCN, said that over 17,000 candidates are sitting for the examination across the country.
Ajiboye said the examination started on Friday in Bauchi, Imo and Plateau states and was monitored by the Minister of Education, represented by the Vice-Chancellor of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.
He said Bauchi states had over 3,000 candidates writing the examination in three centres, adding that 800 candidates wrote in Azare on Friday.
The TRCN scribe said that the council envisaged a larger number of applicants for the 2019 examination because many more teachers would want to write before the deadline.
Ajiboye said the council would create more CBT centres and may introduce a third diet of the examination.
He said the examination covered every area that would qualify a person to be a teacher.
"The examination covered areas such the basic knowledge, principles and practice of education, psychology, philosophy and the skills you need to be a teacher."
Some candidates, who spoke with newsmen, said the examination was a welcomed development because it would help improve teacher's quality in the country.
They also said the examination went on smoothly and there were no technical hitches.
Mrs Adeyemo Kikelomo said that the examination was a step in the right direction because it will help improve the teaching profession in Nigeria.
According to her, the teaching profession should not be a dumping ground for anyone who cannot get a job but with this examination it will restore the dignity of the teaching profession.
Another candidate, Mr Emmanuel Diko said the examination went on smoothly, however, some candidates had problems using the computers.
Newsmen report that 1,010 candidates in the FCT sat for the examination in three batches and each candidate answered 60 questions in the space of an hour.