Starting your journey on how to become a teacher can take many routes and not all of them would demand that you go for postgraduate university studies.
Knowing the different professional qualification you need in your teacher education is a great way of knowing the level you intend to reach. It will also help you narrow down to your specific goals.
In essence, the type of teacher you aspire to become will be evident in how much training you intend to do before kickstarting your professional career in teaching.
The Best Ways To Becoming A Teacher In Nigeria
If you have decided to choose a career in teaching, there are quite a lot of things you might need to put into consideration. Before we proceed with the teaching qualifications you'll need to start your academic journey, we have listed some tips that can help you.
Many of the routes that you'll need to get tutor jobs will require that you have acquired a lot of teaching experience years or a university degree. In the case where you haven't, these tips will serve as a guide to boost your chances of getting qualified for a teacher training programme.
Practise Your Skills
To improve your level of teaching, you must practice. Since this is a profession that involves passing knowledge, learning how to do that seamlessly is a unique feature. Consider working with willing family members and friends to achieve this.
Start by training your volunteer student a subject they find difficult or are not familiar with. You should make sure to explain it to them in a way that they will understand. When you constantly help them study through your classes, it can assist your personal development.
Start With Gaining Professional Experience
It can be quite difficult to gain quality experience as a teacher in a school if you do not have at least a Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) qualification. However, it is not impossible. One of the ways you can gain professional experience is through volunteering.
Many NGOs can help you achieve your aim as you can liaise with primary or secondary schools (depending on the level you're interested in) to teach their students.
Another option is through tutoring. If you have a keen interest in making people understand difficult topics and subjects, becoming a private tutor is a great way to go.
Concerned about where to start and how to get clients? One of the easiest ways is to teach a student or students living in your area. You can also register under a tutoring platform like Superprof to access students you can teach.
Starting this academic profession requires regular practising. It's a great idea to try out one of these before starting your teacher training. While this may seem inconsequential at first, the results are amazing when you put in your effort.
Types Of Teaching Qualifications In Nigeria
There are different types of government-approved teacher education qualifications in Nigeria. It all depends on the level you intend to teach and the type of academic teaching jobs you'd like to apply for. In any case, if you would like to teach in some government-approved public or private schools in Nigeria, you'll need to be certified. Let's take a look at some of the teaching profession qualifications that exist in Nigeria today:
The Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE)
To qualify to teach legally in Nigeria, you'll need a minimum of the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) and of course, a license by Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN). As stated earlier, this is the minimum level of qualification needed before you can become a teacher. To get started with teaching courses at this level, you're expected to have at least five credits in one of the following national and international certificates:
- Grade II Teachers’ Certificate (TC-II)
- Pivotal Teachers’ Certificate (PTC)
- West African School Certificate (WASC)
- National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB) Certificate
- Higher Islamic Studies Certificate (HISC)
- National Examination Council (NECO)
- General Certificate Examination (GCE)
As a point of note, the Grade II Teachers' Certificate (TC-II) and Pivotal Teachers’ Certificate (PTC) can be classified as secondary and direct-entry or diploma level teacher training certifications.
While they are both lesser educational levels when compared to the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE), the Pivotal Teacher Training Programme is higher than the Teachers' Grade II. For instance, it is only candidates who have the Pivotal Teachers’ Certificate (PTC) that are accepted into the second year in the National Teachers Institute (NTI).
As an intending academic teaching candidate, you're also expected to have at least a credit in the subject you intend to teach in any school. Besides, you have more than sixty colleges of education in Nigeria that can offer you NCE teacher training courses and ultimately, an NCE degree.
If you're a teacher with over five years of experience, you can get an NCE qualification without passing any credits. In terms of the age bracket or year, NCE only allows you to teach in primary and junior secondary schools. If you intend to teach in higher learning institutions, you should consider getting a bachelor's degree.
Bachelor's Degree In Education
Teachers intending to teach in higher learning establishments like senior secondary schools and universities are expected to first get a bachelor's degree in education. To be admitted into many Nigerian universities, you're expected to have at least five credit passes in:
- National Examination Council (NECO)
- General Certificate Examination (GCE)
- West African School Certificate (WASC) or any other equivalent qualification.
Other Nigerian universities also require that you have at least a merit in your NCE qualification to be eligible for a direct entry where you can start your training from year two.
In your higher school year, the faculty of education would require students to take an elective course or elective courses from other departments apart from the courses you will study in your most preferred department. After your graduation, you'll be required to go for a one-year compulsory youth service.
Students who have graduated with an education degree in one of the many universities in Nigeria may be privy to teach senior secondary schools during their mandatory National Youth Service (NYSC)
Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE )
The Post-Graduate Diploma in Education is specifically for teachers who would like to teach in higher institutions in Nigeria. If you also have this professional qualification along with other qualifications, you are eligible to own or start up a school in Nigeria. To study in the postgraduate stage, you're expected to have any the following:
- Bachelor's Degree in Education (inclusive of third class)
- Bachelor's Degree in other fields asides education
- Higher National Diploma (HND) from government-approved higher institutions.
- Master's Degree and PhD in fields other than education.
In the university, your masters and/or PhD stage will require that you do a lot of research. You should also consider working on more than one article or paper in your postgraduate university years.
In Nigeria today, the pedagogical system needs competent teachers who can offer a service that equates international standards. Having professional knowledge to take an educational subject is an essential factor in different Nigerian states. Also, if you would like to open a government-approved school in the future, you'll do well working with quality teachers.
The primary aim of educational tutoring is to pass the knowledge that will increase the learning development of a student and quality training is a must. A lot of Nigerian states currently have insufficient teachers who can offer quality educational tutoring to students. So, if you're a little concerned that this profession is over flogged, this may serve as a motivation.
Just as we have stated earlier, the level you intend to train will be dependent on what the colleges you attend will offer. So you must make research on the colleges that can give you quality pedagogical training. In each Nigerian state, you will find colleges of education that can offer this service, however, you can choose to go to another state if your research points to better pedagogical training there.
The tutoring profession is a prestigious one; imagine the wonders quality education has done for the world! If you'd like to brush up your pedagogical skills before opting for colleges in your state, consider developing yourself by training students on certified platforms like Superprof.
It is safe to add that if you intend to brush up your skills to international standards, consistently helping others learn is a sure way to achieving that. Getting feedback from students will also help you determine how good or bad you have become.
If you intend to stand out in your pedagogical journey in Nigeria, taking the time to follow the guidelines listed above and doing some more research will bring you great results.