By Olamide Yinusa
As the world marked Teachers’ Day on Monday, Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun appreciated award-winning teachers in the State with cash prizes and a house.
The Governor offered Mr Odegbola Ayodele, a Junior Secondary School teacher from Abeokuta Grammar school, who also won the overall Best Teacher in the State, a two-bedroom bungalow in the State owned Princes Court.
Mr. Adewale Abayomi, from Odua Comprehensive High School, Imoru, who was the Best Teacher in the Senior Secondary category was given the sum of N2.5m and Mrs. Mary Adeyemi from St. Paul’s School II, Sagamu, who was the best Primary School Teacher went home with a cash gift of N2m from the Governor.
Gov. Abiodun said the State government has formally instituted a yearly Best Teachers Awards in this category to appreciate outstanding teachers in the State and those who have distinguished themselves in the course of carrying out their duties.
Prince Dapo Abiodun disclosed this while addressing executive members of the Nigerian Union of be Teachers (NUT), Academic Staff Union Secondary Schools (ASUSS) and All Nigerian Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), to mark this year’s World Teachers Day in his office at Oke-Mosan Abeokuta.
Gov Abiodun said to encourage teachers for efficient service delivery, it is imperative to celebrate those who have shown creativity, dedication and hard work in the course of imparting knowledge to our younger ones.
He noted that this would spur them to put in more efforts in educating the nation’s future Leaders.
According to the Governor: “We will continue to celebrate innovation. We will encourage consistency. Our administration will continue to make the welfare of our teachers our priority. Our teacher’s reward will not be in heaven, but here on earth”, he stated.
Prince Abiodun used the occasion to call on parents to be more involved in caring for their children instead of shifting the responsibility to teachers as the development process of a child would not be complete without the involvement of their parents.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that our children now spend the larger part of their days with teachers. It is alarming to see that in the pursuit of economic fulfilment, many parents have now have left their parental roles to teachers.
“While I call for a rethink by such parents, but in the meantime, I will call on our teachers to help the situation by inculcating in the children, positive attitudes, ideals and virtues. Help us to protect the rights of our children”, Prince Abiodun pleaded.
He said the commemoration of the World’s Teachers Day is significant because it draws attention to the noble role of the teaching profession in nation-building in line with a standard-setting instrument that addresses the status and situations of teachers around the world.
The Governor noted that this year’s World Teachers Day, would identify the challenges teachers face in the practice of their noble profession, especially at this period of the global emergency of the CCOVID-1, adding that event was to appreciate teachers and also assess their importance as educators of the world so as to improve on their service for the humanity.
Prince Abiodun also said the occasion would provide an opportunity to consider issues relating to teachers and teaching profession, honour and recognize of their contributions to the development of the education sector and the socio-economic development of Nigeria as a whole.
While describing teachers as partners in building the State, the Governor said his administration would continue to appreciate them for their individual and collective roles in creating new learning environment for the children of Ogun State through the Ogun digiClass and other platforms, especially during the covid-19 lockdown.
He enjoined them to be innovative and painstaking in the discharge of their duties, as they owe the State and the country, the responsibility of ensuring that children are adequately cater for the physically, mentally and socially to meet future challenges.
The Governor said that the process for the recruitment of 1, 655 Graduate teachers to fill some of the vacancies existing in Public Secondary Schools in the State was at an advanced stage just as approval for career elongation of Primary School teachers to Grade Level 15 has been approved, while Principals-General and Headmasters-General from the four Geo-Political Zones of our dear State have been appointed and sworn into office.
In his remark, the Chairman, Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Titilope Adebajo, while describing teachers as risk takers and mind moulders, called for the introduction of Education Trust Fund to enable government address many challenges facing the education sector.
State Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS), Comrade Akeem Lasisi, called for the review of the free education policy to enable participation of parents and corporate entities in fund the sector.
In an interview, this year’s best teacher awardee, Mr. Ayodele attributed his emergence as the overall best teacher in the State to hardwork. He called on other teachers to be committed and remain steadfast in the discharge of their duties, “as there is always a pay day ahead for hard workers”.