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As part of activities marking the 2022 World Teachers Day, the Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, has rewarded teachers, school administrators and schools that have excelled in academics with houses and cash gifts.

Abiodun also offered employment to the wife of late Mr Sunday Ogunjimi, a teacher in Odeda Local Government Area who slumped and passed away while attending a welfare meeting involving members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state on Friday, July .

Tajudeen Odufeso from Isara Secondary School, Isara- Remo, was given a two bedroom bungalow as the Best Teacher in Public Senior Secondary Schools, while Adelana Owolabi and Orebanjo Olusesan from Ijebu Muslim College (Junior) and Early Education Centre, Ijebu-Igbo, got N2m and N1.5m for emerging Best Teachers in Public Junior Secondary Schools and Public Primary Schools, respectively.

Mr Fagbamila Olatunbosun Okeneye from Omo Edumare Model Nursery and Primary School, Ago-Iwoye, carted home a sum of N1m as the Best Administrator in the Public Primary Schools category.

In the school category, Remo Divisional High School (Senior), Sagamu and St. Michael’s African Church School 1, Ota, won Best Public Secondary School (Senior) and Best Public Primary School, respectively.

Speaking at the event with the theme, “The Transformation of Education Begins with Teachers”, held at the MKO Abiola International Stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta, on Wednesday, Governor Abiodun described teachers as career moulders, mentors and national builders who sacrifice their all to produce diverse professionals for the nation.

“No doubt, these peculiar people deserve to be celebrated. In fact, we should celebrate them every day and not just for one day that the global body has set aside like today. Let me on behalf of all of us – the government and the entire people of Ogun State – join all men and women of goodwill all over the world to thank very heartily and congratulate very warmly our teachers on the celebration of yet another Teachers’ Day.

“Education is the bedrock of any meaningful socio-political and economic development. As a foundation for scientific, technological enrichment and the advancement of any society, no Nation can become great without the positive contributions of her teachers. The future of any Nation is usually determined by the quality of its education system and how it treats teachers.

“Ogun State is the Education capital of Nigeria. We could not have achieved this status without the contributions of our teachers. We are the Education Capital of Nigeria today mainly because our teachers are simply the best you can find around this country”, the governor stated.

He attributed the commitment of the teaching professionals to the ability of students in Ogun to win numerous awards at different education competitions both national and international.

He noted further that more parents are now showing renewed faith in the public schools by enrolling their children into them unlike in the past

The governor disclosed that his administration was in the process of supplying 25,000 furniture to all public primary and secondary schools, renovating over 956 classrooms in primary and secondary schools, while approval has been given for the commencement of Ogun Digitalized Multimedia Lesson Plan, where the teachers would be equipped with the wherewithal resources for effective delivery.

While appreciating the teachers for their dedication to duties and being at the forefront of achieving his administration’s agenda in the education sector, Abiodun charged them to be more innovative and embrace modern teaching methods, assuring that their welfare would not be jettisoned.

The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, in his welcome address, said the theme of this year’s celebration is in tandem with the incumbent administration’s agenda to reposition the education sector for effectiveness and efficiency, adding that the state government was glad to identify with the teachers in celebrating their day.

The State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Abiodun Akinola, noted that the auspicious was a good opportunity to draw government and other stakeholders’ attention to the issues affecting the welfare and well-being of the teachers.

Akinola who lauded the state government’s efforts at training and retraining teachers, recruitment of more teachers, however, urged the government to address the disparity in salaries between primary and secondary schools teachers, while efforts should be made by stakeholders including traditional rulers, religious bodies, among others to address the issue of out-of-school children.

On his part, the State Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) Akeem Lasisi, commended the state government for abolishing all forms of levies in the public schools and urged government to be ready to spend more money on education, while allowance for teachers serving in the rural areas should be increased.

Highlights of the celebration was the award of ‘Standout Performance’ by the NUT on Governor Abiodun and the presentation of a brand new bus to the Association of Primary School Head Teachers of Nigeria, Ogun State chapter.