Despite FG’s Proposed Incentives, Many Nigerian Students Reject Education Courses

Despite the approval of new incentives to improve the conditions of service for teachers in the country, the choice of education-related courses in tertiary institutions is still abysmally low.

Data obtained from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) on the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), applications by candidates indicated that only 52,702 candidates applied for education-related courses despite a vacancy of 111,176.

The data revealed that the highest percentage of candidates for the examination chose medicine as their first-choice course of study in universities.

According to the 2023 UTME statistics, a total of 452,443 candidates applied for medicine in Nigerian universities, whereas there are only 78,578 MBBS admission slots.

Recall that the immediate past Minister of Education, Malam Adamu while announcing various incentives to improve the welfare of teachers in Nigeria, said the teaching profession had suffered neglect with attendant consequences in brain drain and poor quality graduates.

Former President Muhammadu Buhari had also officially increased the maximum number of teachers’ years of service from 35 to 40 back in October 2022.

He said: “It was with this clear understanding of the role of the teacher in the emerging knowledge economy and the need to attract and retain the best brains in our educational institution that the President approved a range of incentives in order to revitalise and reposition the teaching profession”.

Adamu said the first incentive is an “enhanced entry point for teachers in the civil service by restricting entry into the teaching profession only to highly gifted, academically outstanding students/scholars with the right attitudinal and emotional disposition.

“Special teacher salary scale for teachers in basic and secondary schools, including provisions for rural posting allowances, science teachers allowance and peculiar allowance,” he said.

He also announced scholarships for children of teachers in the country.

According to Adamu, a Special Teacher Pension Scheme to enable the teaching profession to retain its experienced talents as well as the creation of a career path policy for the teaching profession in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, further details of the UTME statistics by the board revealed that 239,018 candidates applied for social science courses whereas, there are only 97,744 vacancies; 227,453 candidates applied for science-related courses with a total of 141,397 available slots.

For engineering courses, the board revealed that despite a vacancy of 68,896 in universities, a total of 163,123 candidates applied.

For admin-related courses, a total of 117,792 candidates applied, whereas there are only 38,725 vacancies.

For arts and humanities, JAMB revealed that a total of 85,264 candidates will battle for 52,221 slots.

However, further analysis of the data revealed that education and agricultural related-courses did not attract enough applicants.

Tribune

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