Governor of Ekiti State, Dr John Kayode Fayemi on Tuesday, presented cars, computers, cash and other gift items to teachers adjudged the best in primary, secondary and technical schools in Ekiti State.

The gesture was in commemoration of the 2021 edition of World Teachers’ Day and in fulfilment of the Governor’s pledge to continuously motivate teachers in the state to enhance excellence.

Governor Fayemi while making the presentation, 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 stated this just as the Ekiti Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Mr Emmanuel Oke and Ekiti Chairman of the Academic Staff of Union of Secondary Schools, Mr Sola Adigun in their different presentations, lauded the Fayemi administration for its huge investment in the education sector.

They commended the Governor for regular payment of salaries of teachers; introduction of compulsory, free and quality education for primary and secondary school students; distribution of furniture to schools; car and housing loans for teachers, a hundred percent 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.

Dr Fayemi, clad in one of the ankara uniforms reiterated the commitment of his administration to the provision of needed technological tools to enhance digital literacy, which would allow teachers cope with the alternative platform anchored on technology.

He maintained that despite the need for technology to support teaching and learning, there was need for more human and student-centred approaches to the use of technology and artificial intelligence in education.

“The theme of the World Teachers’ Day 2021 “Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery” is very apt especially for us in Ekiti State where education is 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, by organizing “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 added.

At the event where teachers in their hundreds gathered, were the Wife of the Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Funminiyi Afuye; Head of Service, Peju Babafemi, the Chief of Staff, Hon Biodun Omoleye; National President of Asuss, Comrade Samuel Omaji, National President of NUT, Dr Nasir Idris represented by Mr Aderemi Adeniyi.

The Governor, who applauded the dedication and steadfastness of the entire teachers in the state, both in the public and private schools, 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.

Dr Fayemi said priority would continue to be accorded teachers’ welfare, entitlement, improved service conditions, promotions and efforts in payment of backlog salaries owed by last administration.

As a demonstration of his efforts to open up Ekiti teachers to wider opportunities within and outside the country, the Governor disclosed that Mr Asubiojo who won the star prize of the last edition of the President’s Teachers and Schools Excellence Award has been nominated to represent Nigeria in the African Teachers’ Award Competition.

“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.”

A major 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’ 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 while the Best Secondary administrator, Mr Olarenwaju Ebenezer clinched a cash gift of five hundred thousand naira, among other gift items like refrigerators, laptops and others given to best teachers in other categories of education in the State.

Earlier in his speech, the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Dr Olabimpe Aderiye expressed her appreciation to the Governor and wife of the Governor for making remarkable impact and legacies in the education sector by implementing policies and programmes key to the restoration of ekiti values and virtues in the sector.

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