According to Daily Trust, Recent calls, especially in Farooq Kperogi’s Notes from Atlanta in Daily Trust of Saturday, 5th December 2015, on the Minister of Education to return the erstwhile Teachers Colleges in Nigeria, suggest both the nostalgia for the Grade II colleges and serious concerns for the depreciated standard and quality of education in the country. But if truth must be told, a return to teachers colleges would certainly not guarantee the restoration of the desired standard of education without attending to the equally fundamental problems of underfunding, outdated and irrelevant curriculum, paucity of modern teaching and learning facilities, etc.
Notwithstanding, Kperogi’s suggested models (returning to the old teachers colleges; reinventing the colleges of education to appropriate teacher training institutions; and more comprehensive adoption of elementary teacher education in the university faculties of education) do have their merits and demerits. None, however, comprehensively addresses the core elements of subject/cluster subjects content mastery; appropriate pedagogical professional skills acquisition; teacher professional tutelage and mentorship; and career orientation required for quality professional teacher education.
In re-considering the return of teacher training colleges, it is therefore important to take into consideration the following underlying factors: Addressing comprehensively the falling educational standard, especially at the basic level which will produce candidates for our dream teachers colleges; Innovating the appropriate teacher training curriculum and structure in the light of the new basic and secondary school curriculum and the philosophy of evolving the foundation for a Nigerian knowledge-based economy educational system; Ensuring the implementation of the National Teacher Education Policy (NTEP) which has been abandoned by the Federal Ministry; Implementing and enhancing the now almost moribund teachers special salary scale to encourage graduates to take to the teaching career; Exclusive and sustainable funding of the project, including special incentives for interested candidates; and coordinated mandatory continuous professional training for in-service programmes to be handled by relevant regulatory training bodies, like the Teachers Registration of Nigeria (TRCN) and the National Teachers Institute (NTI).