A survey carried out by the British Council has revealed that most Colleges of Education graduates since 2014, are yet to be employed as teachers. The Principal Investigator, Elaine Unterhalter, University College, London, stated this on Monday while presenting the Report: “Teacher Education, Teachers Practice, Gender and Girls’ Schooling Outcomes: A study in Five Nigerian States’’. The states where the study was carried out are Jigawa, Kano, Sokoto, Lagos and Rivers by the British Council with support from the MacArthur Foundation. “Six months after completing their education studies, the vast majority of newly qualified teachers from the initial cohort reached in the follow up telephone survey were unemployed.
“A small minority of (16 per cent of sample reached) were working as teachers, while the largest proportion (30 per cent of sample reached) are in Lagos. “Eighteen months after graduation in the second follow up telephone survey, the proportion of unemployed teachers had reduced to 29 per cent but in some states it was nearly half, but 47 per cent in Sokoto State.”
Unterhalter said the unemployed teachers gave some of the impediments given for their inability to secure teaching jobs in the five states.
“In all these groups, corruption was mentioned as a reason that teachers could not get employed. “In addition, participants mentioned that jobs were allocated on the basis of who supported which political party, ethnicity, and state of origin,” she said. She said in Sokoto, issues of status of applicants and to what extent they had respect for elders were also mentioned. According to her, the labour market for teachers is far from rational, and that, aspects of politics, identity and affiliation played key roles. In his goodwill message, Mr Olaide Oladayo, Deputy Director, MacArthur Foundation, regretted the effect of the mass recruitment of teachers at the inception of Universal Basic Education programme in 1999. Oladayo said the programme limited adherence to entry qualifications for teachers and consequently reduced teachers’ quality.
He said the Federal Government must not repeat the mistakes of the UBE programme of 1999 in its planned recruitment of 500,000 graduates as teachers. “The plan by the Federal Government to recruit 500,000 teachers over the next five to 10 years requires careful planning and implementation. “We urge government and its partners not to spare any effort to adequately plan and put in place a transparent and inclusive system.
“This is to draw the support of state governments and local government agencies and non-state actors, in order to raise the potential impact of the recruitment,” he said. In her remarks, Director Programme, Ms Louisa Waddingham, said the Report was invaluable and challenged stakeholders from government parastatals to make the best use of the report.
“When they are implementing policies, reviewing policies, or when they are putting new policies in place, they’ve got some research to inform that decision making. “It’s really important that we make evidence-based decisions when it comes to education policies and they can use that along with all the other research that they have,” she said.