By Amos Aar
THE UNIVERSAL Basic Education Commission (UBEC) in collaboration with the Benue State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) on Tuesday conducted a screening test in Makurdi for digital teachers to be employed in E-learning centres.
Speaking at the venue of the exercise, the deputy director, Teacher Professional Development at UBEC, Mrs Ada Ogwuche, said the screening test for the Teachers Internship Scheme (TIS) is an initiative of the federal government to enhance the experience of university graduates with education background, using technological innovation to teach learners.
Ogwuche added that the internship scheme is a programme of the federal government through UBEC to support basic schools with teachers to address manpower shortage in schools.
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She explained that the best twenty (20) teachers will be chosen out of the one hundred (100) who participated in the test and be distributed to e-learning centres otherwise known as smart schools that are strictly technologically driven.
The deputy director further stated that the teachers to be picked are graduates with science and ICT background unlike in the past exercise when NCE teachers were taken.
In his address, SUBEB’s acting chairman, Mr Mzaga Iorhemba, cautioned the teachers to keep to the rules and regulations so as not to be shown the way out, adding that they should take the exercise seriously given the importance attached to it by the federal and Benue State governments.
SUBEB’s director of Academic Services, Mr Wilfred Gbatsorun, revealed that Benue State has three e-learning centres at Adikpo, Makurdi and Otukpo and therefore, successful teachers would be posted to those centres.
In a related development, UBEC in collaboration with SUBEB on the same day flagged off a 5-day capacity-building workshop for School Support Officers (SSOs) in basic education schools in Benue State at SUBEB headquarters, Makurdi.
UBEC representative, Mrs Ada Ogwuche, appealed to the participants to sit tight and take the training seriously because of the importance attached to it by the federal and state government, assuring that their welfare would be guaranteed throughout the 5-day programme.
The acting chairman of SUBEB, Mr Mzaga Iorhemba, said after the training, the teachers will be expected to carry out follow-up visits in schools to observe teachers at least 15 times a term.
He said as part of efforts to put an end to duplication and recycling of participants which deny other teachers opportunity to participate in trainings, UBEC has repackaged the training to ensure that schools are selected rather than individual teachers so that all teachers in the selected schools participate in the training.
According to the chairman, the new approach is in line with global best practices and SUBEB is part of the innovation.
Earlier in a welcome address, SUBEB’s director of Academic Services, Mr Wilfred Gbatsorun, said the new reform of selecting schools rather than individual teachers for training would enable teachers receive training based on their levels.
Mr Gbatsorun who revealed that there was a recommendation for competent retired teachers who meet the required criteria as Support Officers to be considered urged them to go into the field and assist teachers address the challenges encountered in classroom activities.
In his remarks, lead facilitator and representative of the training institution, Mr Ornguga T. T. of the College of Education, Katsina-Ala, said they have coordinated the program over the years and have been conversant with the terrain, guaranteeing success of the training while he solicited cooperation from the participants.
Responding on behalf of the participants, Mr Ikpekwu Owoicho Benedict from LGEA Otukpo, assured that they would not disappoint the organizers of the program, promising the best in their various LGEAs when they go back after the training.