If you aspire to become a teacher in Nigeria, there are certain teacher educational programs you'll need to take to make you eligible. One of the most widely recognised teaching qualifications is the Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE). Many government-approved Nigerian schools tend to request for this; so even if you didn't study an education course at the university, having this certification will make you qualified to teach.
In this article, you will learn all you need to know about taking PGDE teaching courses in Nigeria and the basics you should be aware of before starting a programme at colleges in Nigeria.
What To Know Before Undergoing Teacher Training In Nigeria
As an intending teacher, there are many things you should know before starting a professional career in teaching or applying for the many programs that exist for teachers in colleges of education today.
If you plan to offer quality teaching to the students you encounter, having this information in mind will serve as a great foundation for professional teaching careers. It would also make it easier to access tutor jobs in several schools in Nigeria.
How Eligible Are You?
It may look like a simple national certificate you can get easily; this is far from the truth. Getting admission into any teacher training programme in Nigeria is quite a herculean task, especially because several other teachers are applying for the training as well.
So, it can be quite competitive. To stay aloof, you'll need to meet up to certain requirements colleges of education in Nigeria demand. In general, having a good grade in your university years will serve as an added advantage and place you on a pedestal higher than others.
- Undergraduate Program
During your undergraduate years in the university, you should endeavour to get at least a 2:2 in your CGPA. While a third class is still acceptable, chances are that if you're applying in a year where there are many students, you may not be accepted.
A first-class, second class upper or lower can help you get into any desired Nigerian college of your choice. In essence, you'll have many options and fewer challenges with a first or second class upper grade. This will also help in your personal development as you kickstart your PGDE teaching courses.
For non-postgraduate national programs like the NCE and university degree, you should have at least 5 passes in either your WAEC, NECO, GCE or any other equivalent certification required in universities and colleges of education.
As a teacher who intends to just offer their service to primary schools, you don't necessarily need a postgraduate degree. Interestingly, certain government-approved schools will require you to take a different kind of teacher training certification.
Take Montessori learning, for instance, Montessori teaching is an international standard method of training and considerably different from the Nigerian national form of teaching.
Teachers who intend to offer this service are required to take the international Montessori teacher training programme from government-certified institutions in Nigeria before they are eligible to teach in Montessori schools.
What Is Your Subject Knowledge and How Do You Pass Them On?
To be a part of a student's educational development, you must have a strong background knowledge of the course. Teaching does not just involve offering a service; your student should be able to receive quality learning positively and use it to develop their knowledge level.
Reiterating Montessori learning, having quality knowledge of the course you're teaching is one, using the method required to pass on knowledge is another.
A Montessori school usually require that teachers create a unique form of learning for every student. Unlike the national form of education in Nigeria, a professional Montessori school focuses on every child. It also means taking the time to focus on new challenges students may face during any level of development. So, while knowing a course well enough is a great advantage, your second primary motive is to make sure new learners understand each course you intend to teach them.
Having this in mind is a great prerequisite for your professional education and can help you achieve a lot more each year while in college.
What Is Your Experience Level?
Having experience before going to Nigerian universities or colleges of education is an added advantage. How else would you offer professional quality training if not through experience? Though having experience is not necessarily a requirement in universities or any college in Nigeria. However, if you would like to learn faster, you should consider gaining experience in the educational sector.
One easy way is through any national NGO. You can volunteer to offer your service in a primary or secondary school in the country. Getting a school or private tutoring experience will help to make your time in any of the country's universities or colleges of education worthwhile. It helps in overcoming tutoring challenges and become exceptional in your teachings.
Getting a teacher training certificate is not cheap. Whether it's an education diploma course, NCE or post-graduate studies, the cost can skyrocket. Of course, the higher the level, the more expenses you're expected to pay. Sometimes, the bulk of your money does not go into school fees; rather, you may spend a lot on materials you need for your training.
Several institutions in the country offer ways to help you out in case you have monetary challenges. In some federal universities, you can practise work-study. Work-study allows you to still take your teaching courses while working for the school. There are several ways you can work while studying in school.
Depending on your sector of interest, you can choose to work in the school bookshop, as an office assistant, a research assistant, amongst others. It's true, you may have difficulties balancing your grade with work, this is why it's necessary to tailor your needs in ways where it won't affect your courses or grade. A good option for students who cannot work within the institute's environment is Distance Learning. It allows them to work outside of the country's many educational institutions while they study to pass their courses and eventually bag their hard-earned certificate.
You get a different certificate for different stages. Some certificates will only allow you to teach up to junior secondary classes while others will allow you to teach a senior secondary class and even universities.
You should consider the stage you want to enter; you're likely interested in the NCE certification which is considered as the minimum certification for the pedagogical sector. Other candidates may like to further their education to university and tertiary levels.
Having a certification is an essential requirement in the education sector. It doesn't matter what state or grade you intend to teach, having a qualification is a policy of the Nigerian government.
There are several types of teacher training programmes that you can opt for. The most popular ones are NCE, university degrees and PGDE. Other lesser qualifications that are equivalent to the secondary school category of certification exist, but they are not given as much attention as the ones listed above.
A Guide To PGDE Teacher Training In Nigeria
Nationwide, having a Postgraduate Diploma in Education will give you wider access to the academic sector. You can work as a teacher in every state in Nigeria with your PGDE degree. In essence, we can agree that the postgraduate policy of education cuts across every state in the country.
Teachers who would like to upgrade their tutoring status should consider opting for PGDE in any university of their choice. It's a great way to show your credibility as a tutor.
So what does it entail?
You don't necessarily have to do PGDE immediately. As a matter of fact, teachers should gain enough experience before this degree. You can also gain experience during your postgraduate studies. Your years as a postgraduate student will demand a lot of research, fieldwork and paperwork. So, you should make sure you're ready. Also, your postgraduate years can be quite tedious, but it comes with a rewarding outcome.
To get to this state, you must already have a bachelor's degree in education or any other field. For students who don't have a bachelor's degree in education, majoring in this course during masters will sort it out. Afterwards, you can choose to do a PhD and pass on knowledge in the best way possible.