Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti on Tuesday presented cars, computers, cash and other valuables as gifts to best teachers in the state primary, secondary and technical schools.
Fayemi, during the presentation of the gifts in commemoration of the 2021 World Teachers’ Day, said the gesture was in fulfilment of his pledge to continuously motivate teachers in the state to enhance excellence.
He said his administration would continue to improve on the condition of service of the teachers in order to ensure that all schools in the State have qualified and highly motivated teachers.
The governor reiterated the commitment of his administration to the provision of needed technological tools to enhance digital literacy.
He noted that such development would allow teachers to cope with the alternative platform anchored on technology.
Fayemi said there was need for more human and student-centred approaches to the use of technology and artificial intelligence in education.
He described the theme of the World Teachers’ Day 2021, “Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery”, as very apt especially for Ekiti State where education was experiencing unprecedented recovery.
“Even though the last 18 months have been challenging in all sectors of the economy with our schools shut down for more than six months, our teachers have been unrelenting in ensuring that we make up for lost times.”
“We promptly swung into action to safeguard our education sector from total collapse during the peak of the 2020 lockdown.”
“This we achieved by organising ‘School on Air’ for the pupils. A clear lesson from the pandemic is the need for alternative pedagogical platform anchored on technology.”
“This administration is committed to providing technology-enhanced teaching and learning because we believe that technologically aided teaching and learning is essential to effective teaching,” he said.
The governor applauded the dedication and steadfastness of teachers in the state, both in the public and private schools.
He charged them to continue to sustain industrial harmony, promote diligence in the performance of their tasks and display utmost dedication to the discharge of their responsibilities.
Fayemi assured that priority would continue to be accorded teachers’ welfare, entitlement, improved service conditions, promotion and efforts in payment of backlog of salaries owed by the last administration.
He said that those who got the brand new cars, cash gifts and other materials were thoroughly scrutinised by the education authorities and found outstanding in their duties, describing the gesture as a reward mechanism.
Fayemi said that Mr Asubiojo, who won the star prize of the last edition of the President’s Teachers and Schools Excellence Award, had been nominated to represent Nigeria in the African Teachers’ Award Competition.
According to him, the feat is part of the efforts to open up Ekiti teachers to wider opportunities within and outside the country.
“I wish to appreciate the teachers who have continued to excel in teaching our students.”
“As a responsible government, we shall continue to improve teachers’ welfare and ensure improved conditions of service.”
“We are committed to fulfilling our pledge of clearing outstanding arrears of salaries from the last administration.”
“The diligence of our teachers will only be noteworthy if it reflects in the outcomes in public examinations by the students,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, Dr Olabimpe Aderiye, the Ekiti State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, expressed her appreciation to the governor and his wife for making remarkable impact and legacies in the education sector.
He particularly commended the governor for implementing policies and programmes that were key to the restoration of Ekiti values and virtues in the sector.
Mr Emmanuel Oke, Ekiti State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), and his counterpart in the Academic Staff of Union of Secondary Schools, Mr Sola Adigun, in their different presentations lauded the administration for its huge investment in the education sector.
The duo commended the governor for regular payment of salaries of teachers and introduction of compulsory, free and quality education for primary and secondary school students.
They also praised him for the distribution of furniture to schools, as well as car and housing loans to teachers.
The teachers listed other achievement as 100 per cent increase into the budgetary allocation for the payment of gratuities for retired teachers, provision of instructional materials and establishment of four new model schools to address overcrowding in some schools.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of car gifts to Mr Olasoji Bamidele of Isan Secondary School and Mr Jimoh Akanni as best teachers in public secondary and primary schools respectively.
Also, a cash gift of one million naira was presented to the best teacher (technical education), Folake Abidakun of Government Technical College, Ado Ekiti.
The best secondary administrator, Mr Olarenwaju Ebenezer, got a cash gift of N500,000.
Gift items like refrigerators and laptops were given to best teachers in other categories of education in the state.