The Pro Chancellor of the Osun State University, Prof. Peter Okebukola, said on Sunday that the current rate of qualified teachers could be doubled if government reduced fees being paid in colleges of education.
In a telephone interview with The Tide On Sunday, Okebukola called for the reduction of fees charged in colleges of education and education faculties in universities by half.
“There is an urgent need to double the ratio of teachers for primary and secondary education as well as at higher education levels.
“This has become obvious considering the under-supply of qualified teachers for Nigeria’s educational needs and the shunning of education courses by many secondary school leavers,’’ he said.
He appealed to governments at all levels to give special bursaries to students who opt to study education courses in higher institutions to encourage more people.
Okebukola noted that an enhanced post-graduate salary package would encourage many graduates of education to pursue further studies up to the doctoral levels. He said that there was need for the government to intensify its teacher validation exercises so as to weed out charlatans from the system.
Okebukola said professionalising the sector was critical to service delivery, adding that government must have an updated record of professional teachers still in service in order to plan properly.
“A better educational service delivery is assured with the establishment of a National Quality Assurance and Monitoring System with all agencies of government involved in peer-reviewing themselves,’’ he said.
He said it was necessary for government to increase access to educational opportunities at the higher institution levels if the development targets set by it was to be attained.
Okebukola urged universities to open up centres for the study of new fields of knowledge such as renewable energy, nuclear science, bitumen exploration and space science for optimum technological development.