The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday, unveiled 1000 newly trained Edo Supporting Teachers To Achieve Results (EdoSTAR) teaching fellows, to strengthen the teaching corps in the state.
The governor also assured that his administration will continue to prioritise the welfare of teachers in the state, describing them as indispensable in the task of nation-building.
Obaseki spoke while addressing teachers at the 2021 World Teacher’s Day celebration, on Tuesday, in Benin City.
He said, “As a state, the most important thing on our agenda is education. It is about our people. The first thing any good government will do for its people is to give them a good quality education.
“At the core of our educational system is the teacher. We proved it with the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) programme. If the teachers do not accept it, we won’t have the type of transformation now visible in our educational sector.”
Obaseki noted, “We need you to keep helping us drive this process. That is why I am here to demand more from you; I have no doubt that you will respond.
“Today, we are not talking about teachers’ promotion again. Now, we are working on those who didn’t get a promotion even before we came into office. If we were able to promote people since 2016, it means that we believe in it. We have to sit down and review the matter of those who were affected from 2014 to 2015.
“For those teachers who retired in August 2021, it is only fair that they are paid their full salary. After reviewing all your requests, I believe there is nothing difficult there that we cannot do. This is how I want our relationship to be. Your lives mean a lot to us. Now, there is trouble in Nigeria, we need to come together to help save this country.
He continued: “With the issue of insecurity in some parts of the country, security in our schools has to be our number one priority. We need to have our schools safe for learning. The other issue is your health during this period of COVID-19 pandemic. I urge you to obey all the guidelines, get vaccinated as I am not making vaccination compulsory.
“It is important that we respect seniority in appointing heads and it must be earned. We will continue to do the right thing. I can assure you that as governor, we will not persecute anybody. We will continue to respect our teachers; we will continue to prioritise payment of your salaries. No matter how hard and difficult things become, the teacher is still our number one priority,” he added.
In his address, the Edo State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Mr. Pius Okhueleigbe, commended Governor Obaseki for implementing the 2016 to 2019 promotion arrears to affected teachers