The Council was established by Decree 31 of 1993 (now Act CAP T3 of 2004). Several decades of agitation by professional teachers and other stakeholders for the establishment of a regulatory agency led to the enactment of the Act. The Act in section 1(1) charged the Council with the following responsibilities:
- i. Determining who are teachers for the purpose of this Act.
- ii. Determining what standards of knowledge and skills are to be attained by persons seeking to become registered as teachers under this Act and raising those standards from time to time as circumstances may permit.
- iii. Securing in accordance with the provisions of this Act the establishment and maintenance of a register of teachers and the publication from time to time of the lists of those persons.
- iv. Regulating and controlling the teaching profession in all its aspects and ramifications.
- v. Classifying from time to time members of the teaching profession according to their level of training and qualification.
- vi. Performing through the Council established under this Act the functions conferred on it by this Act.
IMPLICATIONS OF TRCN MANDATES
The TRCN Act has far-reaching implications for the teaching profession. This reality can be appreciated by the fact that the content of the TRCN Act is one and the same with the contents of the Acts that established the Councils that regulate and control the professions of Law, Medicine, Engineering, Pharmacy, etc. It suffices therefore to state that teachers will henceforth undergo all those necessary intellectual, professional, moral, social and even psychological rigors characteristic of the other noble professions and which have set them far apart from quacks and lay people.
Also, as it is applicable to the other professions, no category of teachers is exempted from regulation and control no matter how highly placed . It is obvious that all medical doctors, lawyers, engineers, pharmacists, etc at all levels of our national life, both in the public and private sectors submit to the provisions of the Acts regulating their respective professions. In the same way, all persons who perform jobs that rightly and legally constitute teaching as well as those who administer teaching and learning in the Nigerian education system must be trained teachers, registered and regulated.
PROGRAMMES OF TRCN
In accordance with the TRCN legal provisions and conventions common to the professional regulatory agencies, the Council is systematically implementing the following programmes and activities:
- Registration and licensing of qualified teachers.
- Accreditation, monitoring and supervision of the courses and programmes of teacher training institutions in Nigeria to ensure that they meet national and international minimum standards. The institutions include the Colleges of Education, Faculties and Institutes of Education in Nigerian universities, Schools of Education in the Polytechnics, and the National eachers Institute.
- Organisation of Internship Schemes for fresh Education graduates to equip them with the necessary professional skills before licensing them for full professional practice.
- Conduct of professional examinations and interviews to determine teachers suitable for registration. This clearly shows that the existing practice of registering teachers upon presentation of certificates alone is a grace and Council has fixed April 1 st , 2007 for the commencement of the professional qualifying examinations. All those unable to take advantage of the grace must have to write and pass challenging examinations before they can be registered.
- Execution of Mandatory Continuing Professional Education (MCPE) to guarantee that teachers keep abreast of developments in the theory and practice of the profession.
- Organisation of Annual Conference of Registered Teachers which is the first of its kind in Nigeria and intended to unite all teachers irrespective of social class or the level of education system to which they belong.
- Publication of a register of qualified and licensed teachers in Nigeria which will be a public document displayed and obtainable from the Local Government through State to the Federal offices. The register will also be on the World Wide Web for the consumption of the international community.
- Enforcement of ethical conduct among teachers and the prosecution of erring ones using the Teachers Tribunal which has powers under law to award punishments.
- Prosecution in the law court of unqualified persons performing the job of teachers in contravention of the TRCN Act section 17(2).
- Act as the voice of the voiceless teachers and continuously initiate/actualize public policies and practices that will reposition the teaching profession in Nigeria as first among equals.