UK looking for Cheap Labour

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By our Correspondent

Remarkably, as the United Kingdom, UK, begins employment of qualified Nigerian teachers from February next year, the Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, has said it was a business move to get quality at a cheaper price.

Thereby, quite specifically, teachers certificated and assessed qualified by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, TRCN, will from February 1, 2023, be exempted from sitting for qualifying courses with the Teaching Regulation Agency, TRA, and be given Qualified Teaching Status, QTS, in England.

The QTS is England’s equivalent of Nigeria’s teaching licence issued by the TRCN.

Meanwhile, other countries where the UK is expecting teachers to take advantage of the new policy are Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Singapore, South Africa, Ukraine and Zimbabwe.

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For number of certified teachers, according to figures from the TRCN, about 350,000 teachers in the country have taken the qualifying examinations of the council out of the estimated 1.5 million teachers on the payroll of governments across the federation.

Education being on the Concurrent List in the constitution, local, state and the Federal governments are allowed to set up schools and employ teachers.

But the Lagos State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, Akintoye Hassan, reacting to the development, said Nigerian teachers have always discharged themselves creditably when it comes to professionalism.

In his words: “Yes, the truth is that Nigerian teachers are good and great and they deserve commendation for performing under conditions that are not conducive.

He added that, “It is not that Nigerians are not good, the atmosphere is simply hostile. The British Government recognises this and has listed our country among those whose services are needed in that sector.

According to him, “Unfortunately, what value do we place on teachers here? I see what the UK government wants to do as a business decision.

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Also he said, “As far as I am concerned, they just want to minimize cost and get cheap labour.

He emphasised that, “Few days ago, nurses in that country went on strike because of poor remuneration. When they get new intakes for the job, they will start them at lower levels and pay them less.

He pointed out that, “For those coming from Nigeria for instance, the situation will still be seen as better than what obtains here.

He further said that, “We must note that the situation portends danger for Nigeria. The reason is that when countries such as Britain balance up regarding workforce, they will shut their doors.

Hence for him,“It is not that our own people are not good, rather, are they appreciated and recognised?”

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