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Minister queries sale of instructional materials to pupils


Nigeria-educationThe Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwuka, has warned against fraudulent practices in the procurement, supply and distribution of free instructional materials to schools and pupils.

Speaking at a session with education correspondents in Abuja at the weekend, the minister said instructional materials at primary and junior school levels remained free.

He warned that any irregularity observed in the process would be met with stiff penalties as the Federal Government attaches importance to basic education.

The Universal Basic Education (UBE) Act of 2004 provides for free, Universal Basic Education for every Nigerian child of school age.

“Free instructional materials must remain free as directed by the Federal Government. If we find out anything otherwise, disciplinary measures will be taken. This government has zero tolerance for corruption. Basic education level ought to be the foundation upon which other levels of education are built on,’’ he said.

Anwuka pledged to make serious efforts towards improving the quality of teachers at the primary school level, just as he added that the National Certificate in Education (NCE) ought to be the minimum qualification for teaching in primary schools, even though many teachers at that level fall short of that requirement.

The minister of state Anwuka, a former vice chancellor of Imo State University, stressed that the demand for teachers at the primary education level must be addressed. And “what we will do is to prepare NCE graduates to transit to the universities to acquire Bachelor of Education degrees. Teaching must stop being an all-comers affair in this country. It must stop being a fall back platform for those who cannot find other jobs,’’ he said.

The minister said that the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) must ensure that only those trained as teachers teach, while those not trained as teachers must take a course in pedagogy before teaching.

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