The Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, said this in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday during the visit of the new executive council of the state Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) to his office.
Egbeyemi, a former Commissioner for Education in the state, said teachers remained important partners in achieving a positive turnaround of the education sector as envisioned by Gov. Kayode Fayemi.
He congratulated the Ekiti NUT on the success of its recent state delegates’ conference and the election of new executive.
He urged the teachers’ body to cooperate with the state government in the implementation of policies to strengthen the education sector.
Egbeyemi commended teachers in the state for their sacrifice and diligence in their duties.
He noted that government was reciprocating by ensuring regular payment of salaries and provision of infrastructure and instructional materials in public schools.
Egbeyemi said that teachers must be rewarded while alive, saying the need to ensure that they were not denied their wages was behind government’s commitment to regular payment of salaries and increment in the payment of retirees’ pension from N10 million to N100 million.
“This administration has good plans for the education sector; we have built new schools; renovated the old ones; provided instructional materials; and we are also fencing schools across the state to ensure the security of our pupils.
“Nothing will stop us from paying your salaries as and when due and that is why the governor has ensured that workers are not owed salaries, even though we are facing challenges.
“We will continue to give teachers’ welfare a priority,” he said.
Egbeyemi also sensitised the teachers’ body on the need to observe safety protocols in view of the emergence of a new variant of COVID-19.
NAN reports that the new executive members were led by the Chairman, Mr Emmanuel Oke.
Oke hailed the state government for its investment in education which he said had lifted the sector and repositioned it as attested to by stakeholders.
He identified some of the achievements recorded to include establishment of more primary and secondary schools, recruitment of more teachers, distribution of more furniture and instructional materials.
He said other achievements were payment of WAEC fees for final year students, implementation of school feeding programme, amongst others.
The NUT boss also lauded the administration’s intolerance for child abuse and molestation and the ongoing prosecution of a police officer who manhandled a principal and some teachers at a school in the state.
Oke used the occasion to table the union’s demands which include payment of outstanding leave bonus and salary arrears left by the last administration and financial backing for teachers’ promotion.
He said others were car and housing loans to primary and technical school teachers and payment of gratuity to retired teachers.
Oke also called for provision of a bus to the state NUT, consideration of degree holders in primary schools for salary extension to Grade Levels 16 and 17 and restoration of 27.5 per cent allowance to technical school teachers.
He assured the state government that teachers would continue to work harder for Ekiti to occupy a pride of place in the comity of states in Nigeria in the field of education.