The Lagos State Education District I, Agege, has held its 14th Annual Merit Award for Teachers with Miss Adefemi Adeola Adedunke of Oke-Odo Senior High School, emerging as the Overall Best Teacher in the District.
Speaking during the event held at the Government Senior College Hall, Agege, the Tutor General/Permanent Secretary of Education District I, Mrs. Titilayo Solarin, said teachers’ valuable roles in society can not be over-emphasised, describing them as “A special bred of people who have the unusual ability to change lives, ignite us in the most perfect way and mould us into what we are now; they are really our silent heroes”.
Mrs. Solarin explained that the merit award was initiated to ensure and enhance competitiveness and enhanced service delivery among teachers, pointing out that it is also in line with the Lagos State Government’s policy of acknowledging and rewarding hard work, dedication, diligence, selflessness and excellence among the workforce.
The TG/PS highlighted some of the parameters considered in choosing the winners as creativity and innovation, mentoring and coaching, management abilities, excellence in contemporary scholarship of teaching and quality of examination outcomes.
“No nation can move forward and no system can succeed without great educators and administrators behind them, hence the reason for celebrating the great achievers that have gone the extra mile to achieve various feats”, she said.
Solarin also implored the teachers not to rest on their oars in ensuring quality education for students in the District.
In his remarks, Mr. Oluyinka Ogundimu, Chairman, House Committee on Establishment and Training, Lagos State House of Assembly, stressed that the essence of the award is to recognise staff personal contribution to the education pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda, noting that no Award can fully compensate the teachers’ sacrifices and impacts on the lives of the students and society as a whole.
Ogundimu urged teachers to understand the sensitivity of their roles, even as he tasked them to look beyond examination grades but also focus on inculcating values in their students to save society from future waste of resources.
His words: “The teaching profession is both dangerous and critical because it involves human lives and the consequences of mismanaging this role may never be reversed. It is essential for the teachers to look beyond excellent examination results, and concentrate on inculcating values that would ensure that the students become respectable members of the society in future”.
He also appreciated the contributions of other stakeholders such as the Chairman, Orile-Agege Local Government Development Council, Mr. Sunday Babatunde, parents and the Old Students Associations for their efforts and visible impact on the schools in the district.
The Overall Best Teacher, Miss Adefemi Adeola Adedunke of Oke-Odo Senior High School, said teachers have been able to positively impact the lives of their students as a result of their determination to see each child as a person and not just a human body in a uniform.
She revealed how she has empowered several of her students with sewing machines among other things, some of which she got from her parents, who have been her major pillar of support and encouragement, adding that there is no student that is useless or cannot excel with proper guidance and someone to believe in them.
Adedunke, who is a product of Lagos State Model College, Badore, said she is always excited when she communicates with some of her students, who would have dropped out due to financial constraints, but had to rely on the vocational skills they acquired through her encouragement to sponsor themselves for the duration of their studies in higher institutions.
Other dignitaries present at the occasion include the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Abosede Adelaja; Director- General, Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA), Mrs. Abiola Seriki-Ayeni and other Tutors General/Permanent Secretaries, among others.