The japa trend has taken Nigeria by storm in the past couple of years, as students, families and professionals are fleeing the country for greener pastures. 

According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the number of international migrants from Nigeria in 2020 was about 1.7 million. With the recent announcement by the United Kingdom’s Department for Education, it looks like this figure will climb even higher in 2023. 

What did the UK say?

So, via a publication on their website, Nigeria was listed among the African and Asian countries whose citizens are eligible to apply for teaching jobs in the UK come 2023. 

Japa UK Teachers Nigerian

The other eligible countries are Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Singapore, South Africa, Ukraine and Zimbabwe. 

The programme will begin on February 1, 2023, and applicants must have a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) awarded to them by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA). The interesting thing about this process is you don’t need formal teaching training. What you’d need are: 

  • An English and Mathematics qualification the same standard as a grade 4 General Certificate of Secondary Education (GSCE). This is equivalent to a C in your West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) or National Examination Council (NECO) Certificate. 
  • A Bachelor’s degree
  • A minimum of two years teaching experience

What does this mean for Nigeria?

More brain drain

This year, we witnessed the mass exodus of our health professionals leaving the country with an average ratio of one doctor to 10,000 patients. And with this opportunity, we may soon see this calamity replicated in our already dilapidated education system. Public schools are already overwhelmed with the number of students they have to deal with, and this situation may get even worse in the coming year.

Japa UK Teachers Nigerian

Poor quality of education

If a brain drain happens in our education sector, it’ll do more than increase the ratio of educators to students. The quality of any education system depends on the quality of its intellectual pool. Last month, the registrar of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria noted that over 260 teachers migrated to Canada this year. If our number of qualified teachers continues to dwindle, it’ll eventually affect the quality of students produced.

Retarded economic growth

It’s important to remember that applicants for the UK teaching jobs don’t need formal teaching qualifications. However, they must have a Bachelor’s degree, meaning they’d be skilled in other areas. If we lose most of our skilled labour to migration, our economic and technological development will remain in the trenches. 

Japa UK Teachers Nigerian

A good way for the country to manage this situation would be to increase the incentives for the academic staff across all public schools, provide more job opportunities with attractive salaries for graduates, and make the work environment and culture more conducive. 


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.