…says they are building foundation for Edo greatness
The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has promised to pay teachers in the state an extra half-month bonus in December, in addition to the 13th-month salary to be paid to all workers in the state, as part of gifts to celebrate the teachers on the occasion of this year’s World Teachers’ Day.
Obaseki made the promise while addressing the teachers during an event to mark the day in the state, with the theme, “The teachers we need for the education we want,” held at the Conference Hall of Teachers House in Siluko Road, Benin City.
Commending the teachers for their role in societal development, Obaseki promised to ensure better welfare for the teachers, providing them with the skills, tools, and other incentives to effectively deliver on their roles in society.
The governor said: “Teachers say I should give them palliative or gift for today. I have already promised all workers in Edo State that you will get your 13th month salaries this year. What I will add as a gift to celebrate the teachers because of the World Teachers’ Day celebration is that all the teachers will get an additional half-month bonus.”
Acknowledging the teachers for supporting the government’s reforms in the education sector, which has made Edo a model state in tackling learning poverty, the governor noted, “With the transformation we have taken in basic education, Edo is now a model to be copied globally as the world is asking us how we did it. I tell them anywhere I go that my teachers are the ones who did it.
“Edo children are no longer known for learning poverty. The world is talking about EdoBEST. Learning poverty is when a child that is up to 10 years old can’t read a complete sentence or write. We say such a child is suffering from learning poverty.
“As a government, we owe our teachers in the state and are grateful to them for what they are doing for the future of Edo State as the children they teach are the future of the state. Our teachers are building the future of Edo State, which is human resources.”
He continued: I recall in 2018, I told the teachers that we have to do something and transform the education sector in Edo. But the problem we had in the past was that of trust because of failed promises over the years.
“But in six years, my administration has been able to build trust which is the foundation of anything in life. With trust, we have changed the landscape of education in Edo State. We still have challenges and problems to solve but they are not unique to us. We have done our best to improve in the sector.
“Teachers are the anchor of EdoBEST reforms. You have done well for our children and the reforms are far-reaching as people are coming into the state to learn how we did it. Our doors are open for them to learn how we have achieved what we have achieved.”
Describing the theme of the celebration as apt, the governor further stated, “We believe we have already started grooming the teachers we want that will help us fulfill the educational vision we want for our future leaders.
“We have equipped our teachers in the basic schools with technological devices to enhance teaching. We have laid 2,000km of fiber optic connection across the local governments in Edo State and our plan is to connect every school and empower more teachers to give better education and information to our students.
“We will build on what we have started and pray we get a successor that believes in education and the teachers to keep the sector moving.”
Noting efforts by the government to address teachers’ shortage, Obaseki said, “The EdoSTAR programme was started to discontinue the situation where just anybody teaches our children rather than trained teachers.
“Today we have 4,500 fellow star teachers and we pay them N40,000 and observe them before finally recruiting them into the mainstream of the education sector. We will continue to address the issue of insufficient teachers in our schools.”
On his part, the Chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUJ), Edo State Chapter, Bernard Gbenga, said the World Teachers’ Day celebration is set aside yearly to celebrate, appreciate, recognize, and reward teachers for their contributions to the education sector and development of society.