… Quality of teachers may be affected
… NTI: We’ve paid, we have evidence
The management of the National Teachers Institute (NTI) and its external facilitators are at loggerheads over non-payment of the allowances of external facilitators of the institute for several years.
The facilitators claims they have not been paid for years, an allegation the institute have denied.
The NTI was setup to bridge the gap in the shortfall in the quality teacher need in the country.
According to the NTI official website, it is to serve as a distance learning educational institution in order to provide additional means of tackling the challenges facing teacher education in the country.
However the project, which is considered laudable in the effort of producing quality teachers for the education sector, has come under scrutiny, especially going by the failure of the institute to uphold set principles.
Daily Trust gathered that the management of the institute engaged the services of PhD holders as facilitators at its various centres across the country to augment the shortage of staff. These facilitators supervise students’ projects and teaching practice aside from lecturing.
A facilitator who does not want to be named told Daily Trust that NTI pays them N40,000 and that students paid the sum of N10,000 for project and N5, 000 for teaching practice.
A facilitator was supposed to receive N5,000 per student as project supervision fee and N3,000 for teaching practice.
“From 2014 till date, no facilitator has been paid his facilitation fee,” the facilitator told Daily Trust.
The facilitators said there is an average of six NTI centres per state with at least 200 students in each centre.
He said the management kept saying it was working on it, while others peddled rumours that the money was domiciled with the coordinator of the centres.
“They have started their propaganda that they will pay after exam (which is ongoing) just to make us submit exams scores, this has been their style over the years after which nothing happens,” he said.
Meanwhile, a student of NTI in Afikpo, Ebonyi State, who gave his name as Divine confirmed to Daily Trust that they had paid for their projects and teaching practice.
She said: “Everything is put together in the fees we pay. I don’t really know how much is meant for project and teaching practice but I know we pay them together with our fees.
“It is split into first and second semester; in first semester, we pay N60,000 and N36,000 in the second semester.”
Another student in an Abuja centre also confirmed that they pay for projects and teaching practice.
He however noted that he is currently doing his teaching practice and that his supervisors and coordinator have been in his place of primary assignment to check on his progress as required.
One of the NTI centre managers who spoke under anonymity said the last time he got the teaching practice and project allowances was in 2006.
“If you calculate from 2006 to date, it is about 12 years out of the 12 years they paid only once, which was 2013 so it is becoming worrisome, he said.
“We have been complaining and they tell us it is in their account and at the end of the day we won’t see anything.”
He lamented that “owing us for 11 years is like enslaving us. We use our vehicles to run round to supervise students and burn the midnight candle to go through their projects and they don’t pay our allowances.”
In the course of this report, students complained to Daily Trust that the institute delayed in the release of their results.
“Up till now they have not released 2017 results, both first and second semester. Students who may have carryover in some courses were not able to write in first semester and now the 2nd semester is on,” a student told our reporter.
Speaking on the issue of delay in result, another facilitator said NTI is a good programme but the way it is managed makes it look like the founding fathers made a mistake of establishing the institute.
“It is to bridge the gap in the shortfall of production of teachers because the carrying capacities of the various faculties of education in the universities and colleges cannot produce what Nigeria needs in terms of teachers and that is why NTI was setup to fill that gap,” he said.
He said it was unfortunate when student cannot get their results, adding, “when would they present it and when do we confirm them as occupational teacher?”
Speaking on the implication of non-payment of facilitators’ allowances, facilitators who spoke to Daily Trust said most of them were no longer committed to the work and that they only come around when they find some free time in the weekend and rush through the students’ work and in some cases abandon them.
“The implication is that it leads to fall in standards; it is going to water down the quality of teachers we are producing in NTI though the students are paying and government is giving the institute subvention so what is happening to the money,” a facilitator asked.
Yushau Ahmed, Public Relations Officer NTI, Kaduna in his reaction says the institute has paid all course facilitators nationwide and has evidence of such payment.
The NTI students pay all fees through the portal, after generating Remita and as a result no physical cash is involved. Any payment to anybody in person is illegal. So the person alleging this, is just reporting himself.
On delay in releasing result he said, “the results are always released on time, having been approved by the institute’s academic board.