Teachers in Ekiti State urged the incoming governor, Hon. Biodun Oyebanji, to protect their welfare since doing so is still the best approach to prevent industrial disputes under his administration.
The teachers, who commended the outgoing Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, for initiating landmark programmes that touched the education sector positively, said the sector remains the most thriving industry that requires the spending of every resource for it to blossom.
This was as Fayemi donated two cars and cash gift to the best and outstanding teachers at both public primary and secondary schools in the state to motivate them to give their best to the service of the state.
The teachers stated this in Ado Ekiti during a programme to commemorate the 2022 World’s Teachers’ Day.
The teachers under the auspices of Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS), and the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) pledged their supports to the incoming administration, but restated that their welfare must not be compromised in order to smoothen the relationship when come on board .
The ASUSS Chairman, Sola Adigun, who spoke extensively on behalf of the teachers, said the teachers were still optimistic that some of their pending benefits would be paid within the next 10 days before Fayemi will bow out of office.
He said: “We have so many unpaid benefits. Our salary, promotion, pension and gratuity arrears of retirees are there. We have that belief that Governor Fayemi can still do the magic and pay off before leaving on October 16.
“Though we appreciate the fact that the state economy was not that buoyant, you can still make the teachers happy before you go, while your successor will begin where you stopped.”
Addressing the teachers, Fayemi said due to the quality of their teachings, the school enrolment had exponentially increased from 191,117 in 2018 to 261,292 in 2022.
Fayemi added that the increase in enrolment automatically resulted in the need to establish additional 10 secondary schools in 2021, while the government paid a sum of N6 billion counterpart fund to match UBEC’s contribution to execute 886 projects.
“As I speak now, under two World Bank assisted programmes, AGILE and IDEAS, renovation of structures/provision of furniture and equipment in 202 schools and upgrading of facilities in three technical colleges are on-going. Moreover, 1,558 teachers were employed by SUBEB, TESCOM and BTVE within the past four years.
“So far, we have disbursed N655 millions as running grants to public schools in Ekiti State. Similarly, we have paid a total of N1, 044,941,450 to enable 57,465 public school students sit for WAEC examination over the past four years,” he said.