Niger State government has concluded plans to construct a new permanent site for the Teacher Professional Development Institute in Minna at the cost of N1billion.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello stated this at the combined graduation ceremony of 513 students of the institute, at the Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi International Conference Centre, Minna.
The governor explained that the decision to establish the institute followed the failing infrastructure and poor quality of teaching and learning observed at the beginning of the present administration.
He said the institute was also to address the shortfall of professionally trained teachers and improve quality of teaching in schools.
Bello, while listing some achievements in the sector in the last seven years, said through the Transforming of Education in Niger State (TENS) initiative, the government has addressed critical challenges of infrastructure and other educational services in the state, using the ‘Whole School Development Approach’, which has positively impacted the capacity of schools to deliver quality and functional education to students.
The governor, however, assured that despite the challenges of insecurity, which has forced them to relocate some study centres to Minna, government would not relent in developing the sector.
Bello, who stated that students of the institute were selected from the 274 wards of the state, urged them to reciprocate the gesture of tuition-free education by giving back to the society through the knowledge they have acquired.
He revealed that an endowment board of trustees for the institute would soon be inaugurated to reduce over reliance on government for funding.
The Speaker, Niger State House of Assembly, Abdullahi Bawa, said the development of quality teachers would make the society a better place to live.
The Commissioner for Education, Hannatu Salihu Jibrin explained that apart from preparing the students to take on teaching as a profession, the institute engages in capacity building of serving teachers and quality assurance officers.
Earlier, Chairperson and Chief Executive of the institute, Hajiya Bala, said the institute, apart from developing serving teachers, prepares prospective teachers by equipping them with relevant knowledge and skills to serve as quality inputs for Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) and Education Degree programmes.