The Federal Government on Thursday disclosed that plans were in the offing to ensure that teachers were better paid than other workers.
Minister of Education Adamu Adamu who made the disclosure at the inauguration of Governing Councils of 21 Federal Colleges of Education, however threatened to weed out those teaching without professional qualification.
Adamu, was represented by Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah.
He said teaching had ceased to be an “all-comers affairs”.
He warned that teachers must register with the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) before the end of the year or risk being sent out of classrooms.
Adamu said the government had understudied Malaysia and realised that the country got it right by first taking a critical look at teaching and teacher education.
He noted that Malaysia, in the quest for greatness, brought down its education sector and reorganised it for effective growth of human resource.
The minister said to start with, teachers in Malaysia were paid higher than other workers and that the Federal Government felt it was expedient to extrapolate that for implementation in Nigeria.
He said: “What did they do? They brought the whole system down and ask: what do you want us to do in education?
“Their planning was geared towards the development of human resources. In Malaysia, top per cent of those who scored the highest in their equivalent of JAMB compete to be teachers.
“If you are a teacher in Malaysia, you are to be ranked than any other worker in the country. This is why you will find people with PhDs teaching in primary schools. Teachers are paid higher than any other person in Malaysia and we have made that recommendation and we are going to do that in Nigeria.”
Adamu lamented the dearth of quality teachers Nigeria, saying it was unfortunate that the noble call had not been able to attract the best and the brightest because of inadequacies in the system.
He insisted that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was ready to get it right with the cooperation of stakeholders.
He added that colleges of education have remained critical institutions because they produce teachers on who everything else is dependent and they also produce teachers at the basic level of education.
He reminded members of the Governing Councils of the enormous task ahead of them saying their appointments, though part-time in nature, have come at a time when the country is recovering from recession and that the institutions have been without Governing Councils since 2015.