‘Sokoto Requires 9,000 Teachers to Meet Standards’

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Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto Findings by a committee set up by the Sokoto State Government had revealed that the state requires additional 9,000 teachers to meet the global standard of 1:40 teacher-pupil ratio in its primary schools.

Presenting an interim report to Governor Aminu Tambuwal in Sokoto, the Chairman of the Technical Committee on State of Emergency in Education in the state, Prof. Risqua Shehu, said 11,863 more primary school classrooms are required to de-congest the existing ones in order to create a condusive atmosphere for learning.

He said with a total of 1,193,760 pupils enrolled at basic education level for the 2015/2016 academic session, the teacher-pupil ratio in the state currently stands at 1:66. Shehu pointed out that though a large percentage of teachers possess high qualifications in primary schools, over 60 per cent of them do not have the required certification to teach at the basic education level, while about 60 per cent of teachers in junior secondary schools teach in urban areas, leaving rural areas under-staffed. He disclosed that there exist more teachers in arts and social sciences than sciences, English Language and Mathematics.

“Not more than five per cent have recommended computer studies and technical trade textbooks. Again, only 11 per cent of the students have relevant textbooks in Mathematics, while less than 15 per cent of them have mathematical items such as graph boards, protractors, compasses and geometrical materials (solid figures).

“Out of the 39 technical/commercial trades identified by the federal government as contained in the 2013 NPE, only nine are being offered in the state’s senior secondary schools.” Shehu said as a way out of the problem, government should embark on the recruitment of more teachers with emphasis on female teachers who would serve as role models, especially in rural areas. For the 2015/2016 academic session, he recommended the recruitment of 800 female teachers, followed by 1,200 in the 2016/2017 academic session while 1,500 should be recruited in the 2017/2018 academic session. He also urged the government to embark on massive computer literacy programme for all senior secondary three (SS3) students before they sit for the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination in April 2017. Responding, Tambuwal said the need to revive the education sector necessitated the setting up of the committee, adding that everything possible would be done to reverse the negative trend.

“We have huge problem in this sector and we are determined to overcome them within a reasonable timeframe.”