Director General and Chief Executive of the National Teachers’ Institute (NTI), Dr. Aminu Ladan Sharehu, yesterday called on governments at all levels to be proactive to the issues of training and retraining of Mathematics and Science teachers.
He also urged stakeholders to support the training and re-training of the Mathematics and Science teachers, rather than complain about their quality.
Sharehu made the call, while declaring open a two-week training for Mathematics and Science teachers drawn from four states of the country.
The training, which is the first Cohort of the third Cycle under the Strengthening Mathematics and Science Education (SMASE) project, drew participants from Nasarawa, Enugu, Osun and Ondo states.
He said teachers had always been at the receiving end, whenever students performed woefully in Mathematics, stressing that he had not seen much efforts from stakeholders in supporting the teachers to improve in their profession.
The NTI DG, while commending the Universal Basic Education Boards across the country, advocated for stronger collaboration for the sustenance of the SMASE project.
He said state governments had not taken advantage of the professionalism and expertise of the NTI in the development of their teachers, saying “the institute is always and ever ready to partner states for the benefit of the country’s education sector.”
The representative of the Federal Ministry of Education, Mr. Joseph Aguiyi, challenged states to adhere strictly to SMASE guidelines in conducting their local trainings.
Aguiyi, who is the SMASE National Coordinator, lauded the efforts of the NTI under the leadership of Dr. Sharehu in sustaining the project, after the Japan government had pulled out.
He said the NTI DG’s effort at rapidly propelling the wheels of the SMASE training qualifies him to be honoured with what he called “SMASE Fellowship.”
Similarly, NTI SMASE adviser, Prof. Emmanuel Odubunmi, lamented stakeholders’ failure to utilize opportunity given by the SMASE project to improve the quality of teaching and learning Science and Mathematics in Nigerian schools.
He said the country would remain a dependant of finished products, if it could not develop its production sector.
He noted that “it is only when there are good students of Science and Mathematics that the country becomes a producer of finished goods.”
Chairperson of the Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board, Miss Nneka Onuora, expressed the state readiness to always support the National Teachers’ Institute in the training and retraining of Mathematics and Science teachers.
She said her state knew the importance of Science and Mathematics in the quest for national development, stressing that the state had taken steps to ensure the success of the SMASE project.
NTI Principal Consultant on quality assurance, Professor Emeritus Thomas Kolawole Adeyanju, said “the answer to overcoming mass failure of Nigerian students in Mathematics is with the teachers.”