A Canada-based group, Commonwealth of Learning, has expressed its determination to assist developing countries in building the capacity of their teachers? training institutions to produce enough qualitative teachers.
The group said that a stronger collaboration with developing Commonwealth countries, which included Nigeria, would enable institutions to adequately address the problem of shortage of teachers.
Such a stronger collaboration, COL, said would also help the institutions in improving the quality of their programme delivery and management systems.
COL ?s Education Spe...t-Teacher Education, Dr. Abdurrahman Umar, stated these while speaking during the opening of the workshop on ?Tutoring in Open and Distance Learning? organised by his group in conjunction with the National Teachers? Institute, Kaduna.
According to Umar, the key determinants of the success of Nigeria and other developing countries of the Commonwealth in the attainment of the goals of Education for All and the Millennium Development Goals is teachers? quality.
He, therefore, noted that COL ?s support for building the capacity of teacher training institutions in the developing countries to produce enough teachers of high quality was imperative.
?Nigeria , as indeed other developing countries of the Commonwealth, is committed to the attainment of the goals of Education for All as well as the Millennium Development Goals and the key determinants of success in this regard are teacher supply and teacher quality. The support, the Commonwealth of Learning provides to developing countries of the Commonwealth to build the capacity of their teacher training institutions and promote teacher quality, is of immense importance given the shortfalls in teacher supply and the low quality of teachers in these countries,? he said.
Umar also stated that the facilitator of the workshop, Prof.Badri Koul, had been mandated by COL to develop a tutor?s handbook, which would be used during the workshop and the participants could also use it as reference materials in the course of their duty.
The handbook, he added, would also be used as a training manual for training all NTI course tutors across the country.
Umar pledged that COL would provide further support for the NTI, particularly in building the capacity of its staff in the design and development programmes for its FM radio station which recently commenced transmission.
He urged the participants at the workshop, which included, NTI coordinators, centre managers/supervisors and course facilitators/tutors, to see the event as an opportunity to develop their skills and broaden their understanding of the principles, concepts and processes of tutoring in open and distance learning so that they could train others.
In his speech on the occasion, the NTI Acting Director/Chief Executive, Mr. Unwaha Ismaila, stated that in spite of the determination of the institute to improve the quality of its services, it had realised that its dreams could only be realised if it had knowledgeable, skillful and versatile field officers who should be in close contact with the learners.
Ismaila said that this was why it had invited this category of staff for the workshop, adding that the institute would continue to pursue its objective of improving the quality of teachers in the school system.