By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti.
Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose splashed cars and cash gifts on teachers in the state as they marked their day at a colourful ceremony in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
Apart from donating the sum of N50 million to the teachers, he also promised that the schools that produce the best teachers at primary and secondary school levels would be given total upgrade and renovation by the state government.
The annual Teachers’ Day, with the theme ‘Valuing teachers, improving their status (Celebrating the teachers and sustaining the glory)’, also saw the governor promising to donate N100 million to the teachers next year if the state is able to maintain its first position in the National Examinations Council (NECO) exams next year.
The state this year came first in NECO exams from the 18th position it took last year, while it came 11th in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) exams this year.
Fayose, who also said the state would soon convey a Parents’ Summit to sensitise parents on their roles as critical stakeholders in the sector, profusely thanked the teachers for their efforts and support and urged them to do more.
“I am the happiest person today. I really appreciate the teachers for your efforts. The most valuable investment is in education. You don’t need to be a professor to know that you must take good care of teachers. They are the ones moulding the character of our children. Our young ones spend more time with them too.
“If I did not win in 2014 they would have sacked most of you, but thank God I won and we are here today celebrating your day. We will continue to enhance your performance by training and re-training you the modern day way. All your demands, I will look at them critically. Anyone that I can attend to immediately, I will do so without delay. If I am good to you, I am only good to myself. The Parents Summit is to complement the efforts of teachers and it will be chaired by the Oluyin of Iyin-Ekiti, Oba Ademola Ajakaiye, who chaired last year’s Education Summit,” he said.
The governor urged parents to take good care of their children and noted that they must not spend all their after school hours hawking.
In his speech, the Special Guest Honour, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), said quality education at both primary and secondary school levels, was the bedrock other levels could build on and that it provided a platform for a lot of people like him in the olden days to study at home and pass various examinations.
He rejoiced with the governor and the people of the state for the feat recorded in NECO and WAEC examinations.
The State Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Mr. Kayode Akosile, thanked the governor for the honour done his members, saying it was only in Ekiti State that the Teachers’ Day was being celebrated with pomp.
He also lauded the governor for the release of N200 million to start the payment of the 2014 Leave Bonus of teachers.
He, however, called on the governor to look into other areas which the teachers needed the governor to address.
The Commissioner for Education, Mr. Jide Egunjobi, in his address, described Fayose as an uncommon politician whose desire is to get results and who motivates others.
In the secondary school category, Mr. Jeje Thompson from Ara Community High School, Ijero-Ekiti won the Best Teacher Award and went home with a Kia Rio car, while Mr. Ajayi Michael Oni from Ogunire High School, Ire-Ekiti came second and was given N200,000 consolation prize.
Mr. Ajayi Isaac Kayode of Ikere Comprehensive High School, Ikere-Ekiti came third and was given N100, 000 consolation prize.
In the primary school category, Mrs. Adesina Modupe Bosede from Ikere came first and won a Kia car, while Mrs. Olofin Yemisi came second and won N200, 000, while Mr. Aniobi Olagoke Femi was third and was given N100, 000 consolation prize.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress(APC), Ekiti state has praised the teachers for hard work and dedication to duty, saying that the brilliant performance posted by Ekiti State students in this year’s NECO results was a reflection of the teachers’ hard work, professionalism.
In a statement by Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, the party noted that the teachers deserved praises and encouragement.
He said: “APC salutes the teachers for their hard work and dedication to duty, which culminated in the brilliant performance of Ekiti students in this year’s NECO examination.
“We also acknowledge the conducive working environment and attention to teachers’ welfare provided by APC administration, which introduced Teachers’ Core Subjects and Rural Posting allowances, including prompt payment of salaries.
“It is on record that the last administration approved the teachers pecuniary allowance and relativity pay, which made Ekiti the only state that first started that policy in the South West,” he explained.
By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti.