PES aims at equipping teachers with relevant knowledge, skills and attitude to teach effectively all subjects in the primary school curriculum as contained in the National Policy on Education. The primary school teacher should therefore be well qualified and competent, highly motivated, conscientious and efficient to enhance the image of the teaching profession. If well studied by prospective teachers, the PES would help them to teach effectively all subjects in the Nigeria primary school curriculum.
Despite the vital role PES plays in exposing a teacher to different methodologies and innovations on how to teach all primary school subjects effectively, the existing practice in most colleges of Education in Nigeria is that PES stands to be an optional course. Students of Colleges of Education are given admissions to study subject combination like English /Geography. In this case, after graduation, the student will effectively be equipped with innovations and methodologies on how to effectively teach English/Geography only. So also is the case with students studying Math /Computer Science, Hausa/Religious Knowledge, English/Social Studies and the like. In other words, no matter the efficiency of teachers that do not study PES there would necessarily be areas of inadequacies in teaching especially as it affects primary school education.
In order to attract the best brains to the teaching profession, PES should be made compulsory to all students at NCE level. This is because the teacher is a vital factor to reckon with in the education delivery process. Thus, to enable him impart the required knowledge and skills to his/her pupils, he/she should be exposed to the different methodologies on how to teach all primary school subjects just as the philosophy and objective of PES entails. Lest I forget to observe, any interactive session organized by the National Commission of Colleges of Education (NCCE) should involve the representatives of the education secretaries and the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) because the two bodies form an important part of the stakeholders to such sessions for the expected and meaningful contributions to be made.
Abubakar D. Umar is the Education Secretary, Sabon Gari Local Government Education Authority, Kaduna State