FG’s new teachers’ devt. scheme gets $10.4m support from Korea

By Funmilayo Adeyemi
The Federal Government  on Thursday in Abuja unveiled a new teacher development programme titled, Teacher Internship Scheme (TIS),
Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman said the scheme designed to support teachers with skills and knowledge in digital technology has attracted $10.4 million (about N13.5 billion) funding from Korea.
Specifically, the Minister said the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) had secured a budget of $10.4 million to support the scheme.
Inaugurating the scheme, Tahir, expressed federal government’s commitment t providing  Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to enhance teaching and learning in the country.
He said the scheme, put together by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), was geared towards helping in the implementation of smart education in the country.
Mamman whio also inspected a facility by the UBEC Digital Resource Centre, said it would serve as a hub for creating and distributing resources to schools as well as training the school personnel.
According to him, ICT had dominated every spectrum of life and Nigeria must make a paradigm shift from the traditional method of teaching children using blackboard and chalk.
He commended the Executive Secretary UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi and his management team for the initiative, noting that one could not be talking of quality of education without teachers with the right skills and knowledge to drive teaching profession.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of UBEC, Bobboyi, explained that participants of the teacher Internship scheme were graduates of education selected on merit from all the states of the federation.
He said the teachers were expected to go through intensive training for two years.
“It is envisaged that at the end of the two-year programme, the Interns would emerge as a new breed of teachers, equipped with the skills and knowledge to harness the power of technology and transform the learning experience.
“They would not just be teachers; they will be smart teachers who would be innovators, catalysts for change, and architects of a brighter future for the Nigerian child,” he said.
Bobboyi stressed hat the traditional method of teaching and learning was no longer adequate to prepare learners for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.
He, therefore, underscored the need to expose Nigerian teachers to digital platforms and pedagogies for them to rise to the challenge of preparing the next generation of children to survive and thrive in a globalised and competitive world.
According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic had laid bare the vulnerabilities of the traditional education system and brought to the fore the need to explore an alternative mode that enables learning to take place anytime and  anywhere.
The Country Director, KOICA, Nigeria Office, Mr Son Sungil, confirmed  the  $10.4 million budget to support to Nigeria in the establishment of Smart Schools in the country.
He said the support was largely in the areas of digital content development for mathematics and science subjects, content development sptudio for digital content creation, and others.
He further pledged the commitment of KOICA to continue to work with UBEC and other stakeholders to make future better for the Nigerian children.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report that the scheme was introduced by the commission to address the dearth of teachers in the field of smart education. (NAN)