The Development Of Teacher Education In Nigeria

Before discussing the development of teacher education in Nigeria, it’s pertinent to consider briefly the concept of teacher education. Teacher education refers to the professional education of teachers towards the attainment of attitudes, skills, and knowledge considered desirable so as to make them efficient and effective in their work, in accordance with the need of a given society at any point in time. It includes training and or education occurring before the commencement of service (pre-service) and during service (in-service or on-the-job). Every society requires adequate human and material resources to improve its social organization, preserve the culture, enhance economic development and reform the political structures.

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Education is often seen as a prerequisite for quality manpower development and creation of wealth, a sure path to success in life and service to humanity. Thus, teachers have an important role to play to adequately prepare the young for their roles in the society in order to achieve the set national objectives.

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According to (Adewuyi and Ogunwuyi, 2002), opined that teacher education is the provision of professional education and specialized training within a specified period for the preparation of individuals who intends to develop and nurture the young ones into responsible and productive citizens. It is informed by the fact that teaching is an all-purpose profession which stimulates the development of mental, physical and emotional powers of students. Such educated citizens would be sensitive and equipped with peaceful co-existence, environmental management, and democratic process.

The Development Of Teacher Education In Nigeria

After independence, teacher education had two major problems – the low output of teachers and poor quality of the teachers produced. To meet the two problems government granted the provision of additional Grade II Training Colleges and extra streams to the existing ones. To make up for the poor quality, the government approved the upgrading of most of the Grade III Training Colleges to Grade II. Then, new Grade II Teachers’ Colleges were to be established. Unfortunately, the Ashby recommendation for the establishment of Teachers’ Grade I Colleges was not vigorously pursued. However, the Western Government introduced the Ohio Project, a normal science centre admitting teachers with Grade II teacher’s certificate.

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Lagos had the Government Teachers’ Training College at Surulere. The Eastern Region established a science centre at Umudike, near Umuahia for the production of Teachers Grade I Certificates.
Soon, the Teachers’ Grade I programme gave way to the Nigerian Certificate in Education(NCE) for the preparation of teachers for the lower forms of secondary schools and for the teacher training colleges. They were three-year – programme institutions. The Advanced Teachers’ Colleges as they were initially called were established in Lagos in 1962, Ibadan 1962 (but in 1964 it became Adeyemi College of Education Ondo), Zaria in 1962 (but moved to Kano in 1964) and Owerri in 1963. In 1968 one was established at Abraka in Bedel State but took the name College of Education.

When the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, was established, it took the lead in starting a new teachers programme known as the B.A., B.Sc., and B.Ed in Education. This meant that a student could combine education courses with one or two teaching subjects and offer them throughout the student’s four years to graduate. This replaced the traditional system of taking a degree before coming for a one-year diploma in education.


Adewuyi J.O. and Ogunwuyi, A.O. (2002). Basic Text on Teacher Education. Oyo. Odumatt Press and Publishers.

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