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Africa / Education

Concerns regarding youth corps members work as graduates become “teachers”.

Concerns regarding youth corps members work as graduates become "teachers".

During the one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program, graduates, many of whom have no formal pedagogical training, are being posted to schools to teach amid a severe teacher shortage throughout Nigeria. Academics and other stakeholders, on the other hand, assert that these “teachers” will cause more harm than good.

As a requirement for formal employment in the country, Nigerians under the age of 30 who have graduated from higher education institutions both within and outside of Nigeria are required to participate in the program.

According to Vanguard, approximately 60% of the participating graduates are deployed in schools to fill the void left by unqualified teachers, despite the fact that the corps members (as the participating graduates are referred to) are posted to various sectors.

Dr Hamid Bobboyi, executive secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission, recently stated that Nigeria lacked 277,537 teachers in light of a national personnel audit of the country’s public and private basic education schools. On February 25, 2022, the Nigerian Tribune reported that he claimed that only one teacher teaches all of the students in 10 per cent of government-owned primary (elementary) schools in three states.

Educators or cheats?

Isaac Ajayi, a professor of educational management at Ekiti State University in Ado Ekiti, criticized the idea of sending graduates who haven’t been trained as teachers to elementary and secondary schools, which he referred to as crucial points in formal education.

“Corps individuals ought to simply be allocated to schools in the wake of moving on from the college’s workforce of training”. Those without teaching credentials lack teaching methods. Therefore, they will be cheaters rather than teachers, he told University World News.

According to Ajayi, teaching necessitates knowledge of education sociology, philosophy, and psychology that is unfamiliar to many corps members. He stated that students’ performance would suffer if these graduates were employed as teachers.

He expressed, ” Corps individuals who don’t show schooling can not perceive the special qualities of the understudies. Knowing something about it is one thing; It’s a different thing to know how to teach the material. There are three areas of learning that must be taken into consideration when teaching: the cognitive domain, which includes knowledge itself, the affective domain, which includes the value system, and the psychomotor domain, which is concerned with the process of acquiring skills.

“It is impossible to effectively impart knowledge about the three domains of learning to anyone who has not completed teacher education at any level. Non-professionals will rely on the cognitive aspect, but it is not enough.

Managing the crisis Principal Anselm Izuagie, president of the Africa Confederation of Principals, criticized the poor teaching skills of many corps members and stated that school administrators go above and beyond to handle the situation. Izuagie stated to University World News, “It is a problem for those of us who are school managers to get them used to the system and be able to [make an] impact because many of them don’t know anything about teaching.”

He stated that corps members receive some orientation in teaching from schools with good systems, whereas schools with few teachers and inadequate infrastructure do not offer this. Izuagie made the observation that, in the absence of competent teachers, school administrators make do with what they have because they frequently find it difficult to combine administrative work with corps training.

“The federal government’s intention of sending them—the corps members—to schools to assist in teaching is defeated because they lack knowledge of the art of teaching. It is as good for the students as if they were not taught. Because the corps members lack teaching skills, they attempt to lecture instead. Additionally, when students inquire, they become enraged. Students will like you if you are a good teacher who is knowledgeable, but if you are not, you kill their interest.

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