From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
The Kaduna State Baseline Assessment of Teachers Provision and Policies report has forecasted that the State will be needing a minimum of 54,094 teachers in her public primary and secondary schools by the year 2030 if the 45 pupils to a teacher target would be realised.
Although the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) suggested 40 pupils to a teacher, the peculiarity of the member countries and sub-government varies towards achieving that recommendation.
Consultant with Partnership for Learning for All in Nigeria (PLANE), Mr Sunny Kulutuye while presenting the report to KADSUBEB and civil society in Kqduna said the organisation conducted the assessment as a part of PLANE’a seven-year education programme funded by the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to promote inclusive education and improved learning outcomes in primary schools.
To Kulutuye, the assessment was based on the extensive analysis of Kaduna State Annual School Census data (2015-2021), limited to publicly funded basic education (primary school grades 1-6 and junior secondary school grades 1-3) and data on the present situation and future projections of teacher needs.
According to that report, based on the 2020/2021 annual school census, the State has a total of 38,097 qualified teachers comprising 33,419 in the public primary schools and 4,678 in the public junior secondary schools spread across her 23 local government areas.
The baseline assessment however proposed that the state will need a total of 49,214 teachers comprising 40,707 teachers in her public primary schools and 8,507 in her public junior secondary schools by the year 2025.
The document further forecasted that the State will need a total of 54,094 teachers comprising 44,638 teachers in her public primary schools and 9,456 in her public junior secondary schools by the year 2030 if the 45 pupils to one qualified teacher ratio are anything to come by.
In the 2020/2021 academic year, the state recorded 1,817,914 enrolments in her public primary schools with 33,429 teachers which put the pupils-teacher ratio at 59-1 and enrolled 302, 743 pupils in her public junior secondary schools with 3,454 teachers which put the pupils-teacher ratio at 56-1.
It should be noted that the statistics about the pupils-teacher ratio is on the average as there are several public primary and junior secondary schools with well above 100 pupils-teacher ratio due to some bottlenecks such as over-concentration of teachers and facilities in the urban settings, the proximity of teachers to the schools and uneven distribution of educational infrastructure.
For example, Sabon Gari, Kajuru, Kaura and Jema’a local government areas have the best ratio of fewer than 40 pupils to a teacher while Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Ikara, Igabi, Kaduna North and Makarfi have a worse ratio of more than 80 pupils to a teacher.
The assessment noted that the State has recorded an improvement in the areas of pupil-to-qualified teachers ratio, gender parity in the teaching profession, removal of unqualified teachers and establishment of improved recruitment procedures.
According to the document, the State needs to bridge some identified gaps which include weakness in deployment (large imbalances between local governments), workforce planning and replacement policies, inadequate measures to ensure safer recruitment and background checks, weak data on special needs teaching and teachers with disabilities, weak gender policy and implementation and lack of data on auxiliary teachers like NPOWER, NYSC, those on teaching practice among others.
Director, Human Resources, KADSUBEB, Ahmed Sani while thanking the partnering organisation remarked that the State was doing much to improve the learning outcomes of pupils in public basic schools through deliberate policies.
“Our teacher policies are found in various documents in our state education development policy, human resource development policy, and in the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria.
“SUBEB is looking forward to integrating them into one robust document. We are also benefitting from the support of UNICEF in terms of the Teachers’ Information Management System.
“We have trained more of our teachers to strengthen their English proficiency. We have trained 8,500 in ICT. As far as literacy and numeracy is concerned, the State is doing a lot and some of the results will start showing over a period of time from now,” he noted.