By Kingsley Agim
Cross River State Government has emphasised the need for capacity building for teachers in the State as a major step to improving the sector for better education of its citizens.
The Commissioner for Education, Sen. Stephen Odey, who made the declaration while officially opening a 3-day (14-16 November 2023) Workshop for Science and Mathematics Teachers organised by Teachers Continuous Training Institute, TCTI Biase, under the theme “Innovative Approaches in Teaching Science and Mathematics Subjects in Secondary Schools,” said emphasis on training and retraining of teachers would continue to be on the front burner because the education of the citizens ranks high in the thrusts of the present administration.
“Let me commend the progenitors of the TCTI initiative and the present administration for sustaining the institute. I believe that other states and countries would come and see what we have in Cross River (TCTI) and take advantage of its world-class facilities to train their teachers,” Odey remarked.
The Education Commissioner also commended the institute for the initiative to train 100 science and mathematics teachers from select secondary schools in the State.
He urged participants to take the training seriously, as it offers them the opportunity to take stock of contemporary innovations and technology in the teaching profession.
Speaking on the importance of the workshop, the former senator said: “I am glad that there would be practical sessions during the training. I am happy for you and believe that at the end of the day, you will have learned new teaching methods.
“I implore you not to keep knowledge gained to yourselves only, but pass it on to your colleagues who were not opportune to be part of the training in your respective schools,” he added.
While calling on TCTI to step up training for Cross River teachers, the Commissioner promised to relay the Institute’s good works to the governor as well as solicit for the provision of enabling ground for TCTI to do more.
In his remarks, the Institute’s Director General, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, averred that the workshop was aimed at building the capacity of 100 science and mathematics teachers across secondary schools in the State, pointing out that TCTI’s well-equipped laboratories would serve the practical components of the training, as laboratory practicals are requisite parts of all science disciplines.
“I believe that knowledge gained from this workshop would also be cascaded to your colleagues who could not make it to the training,” Adedoja said optimistically.
He also thanked the Gregory Olayi-led National Union of Teachers in Cross River, for being a dependable ally to the Institute in its retraining of teachers in the State.
“I want to thank Governor Otu for making it possible for the Institute to carry out various programmes with a view to strengthening teachers capacity in the State,” adding that “the governor has assured us that his administration would continue to TCTI and its laudable programmes.”
Also speaking, the Chairman of the National Union of Teachers, NUT, Cross River State chapter, Comrade Gregory Olayi thanked the management of TCTI for organising the training, as teaching is a profession that entails continuous education of its practitioners.
Olayi, represented by his Vice Chairman, Comrade Eyam Oyama, commended TCTI for the strengthened partnership with NUT in building teachers’ capacity in the State, nay Nigeria.
He expressed gratitude to the Governor and Education Commissioner for having a keen interest in the development of teachers, appealing that capacity building should go hand-in-hand with improved conditions of service for teachers
In separate interviews, Mr Emmanuel Igri, a mathematics teacher at King Ford Vocational College, Ekori-Yakurr LGA, and Mr Bassey Ironbar, both participants, said the workshop had expanded their knowledge while pouring plaudits on TCTI for its state-of-the-art facilities.