Teachers in Ekiti State have pledged support for the State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi; saying that the various steps taken by the Governor since assuming office last year have helped in the transformation of the education sector in the state.
The teachers numbering over 5,000 spoke in Ado –Ekiti, on Tuesday at an interactive session with the Governor. Speaking through different leaders of unions in the sector, the teachers said they were impressed by the feats recorded in the last 100 days of the Fayemi-led administration.
The State chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Mr. Samuel Olugbesan, said Governor Fayemi deserves a lot of commendations for quickly embarking on reforms that are aimed at restoring the glory of the state’s education sector.
Olugbesan said the N200 million released as car and housing loans to teachers, arrears of rural and core subject allowances as well as instructional materials and work tools given by the Fayemi-led government to teachers are evidences that Dr Fayemi is keenly interested in the education sector.
The NUT chairman stated that Ekiti teachers are fully in support of the present government because they know that “this is their government”.
Also speaking, the State Chairman of ANCOPSS, Mr. Abiodun Omotoso thanked Fayemi for paying the 2019 SSCE registration fee of about 14,000 students; saying the gesture had lightened the burden of parents many of whom were owed salaries by the immediate past administration.
Omotoso urged the governor to reflect the promotion of workers in the payment of their salary; noting that though the past administration gave the notional promotion, the present administration should attach financial benefit to it.
In her remarks, the AOPSHON Chairperson, Mrs Bimbo Ogunyemi stated that there was no gainsaying that Fayemi is performing well and has courted a robust relationship with teachers in the State with the various welfare packages his government has doled out.
“Your Excellency, what people are saying that you are doing well is not a gainsay. Within a few months, you have achieved a lot in the education sector. The 10,000 teachers in Ekiti primary schools are with you. With the way they acknowledged your greetings today, you can see that teachers love you and they will continue to love you”, Ogunyemi said.
All the union leaders also lauded the governor for increasing savings for the payment of gratuity from #10 million monthly to #100 million; stressing that the gesture will enable those who have retired to get their exit benefits with ease, as gratuity was last paid in 2012 under Fayemi.
While responding to comments by the union leaders, Governor Fayemi who said the interactive forum became imperative as a way of knowing teachers’ views on some policies of the government in the sector presented a cheque of Two million Naira to the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPSS) in the State, as government’s support for the completion of association’s secretariat.
The donation was in recognition of the contribution of the Association to the education sector in the State.
Fayemi who noted that no fewer than 2,000 teachers have retired in the last four years , stated that his government would soon recruit more teachers to fill the available vacancies; adding that the recruitment would not be done on political patronage but on ability to deliver quality teaching service to pupils.
The governor said that it is the duty of teachers to ensure quality teaching, adding that government is expected to provide conducive teaching and learning environment.
He reassured that salaries would be paid promptly and regularly while the arrears of salaries and allowances owed by the immediate past government will be defrayed soon.
On the provision of computers in schools, Fayemi said the government is setting up computer laboratories in all school across the State rather than distribute computers to individual students which had led to abuse in the past.
“During my first tenure, we gave out computers to students in all schools because we wanted the students to compete with their colleagues across the world. But we didn’t reckon with the ingenuity of our pupils which gave rise to the abuse of the computers. This time, we will put a computer lab in each school and teachers will have a timetable for its utilization”, he said.
While rounding off the meeting, Governor Fayemi urged the teachers to rally support for his party the All Progressives Congress in the forthcoming election; stating that if his party wins the elections, it would spur him to deliver more dividends of democracy to all sectors in the State.