By Timothy Ekpo
Governor Udom Emmanuel has called on stakeholders in the education sector in Akwa Ibom State to work collectively towards building an enduring academic future that would promote best standards in the education sector of the state.
Speaking as the special guest of honour at the 2022 World Teachers’ Day celebration which took place at the Mini Sports Stadium, West Itam Secondary School, the governor who was represennted by the head of the civil service, Elder EffiongEssien, described teachers as critical components of human development, and appreciated them for their utmost efforts in making a better society.
At the event which had as its theme, Transformation of Education Begins with The Teachers, admonished the teachers to promote and dignify the teaching profession by remaining committed and proud of their means of livelihood and line of duties, stressing that those who passed through them weremaking impact and leaving lasting imprints in every profession.
Governor Emmanuel said while government tries to provide enabling environment for effective and quality learning and teaching, parents must be willing to offer their support by encouraging the children to prioritze learning and shun vices capable of ruining their future.
He noted that It was time to let pupils and students understand that hard work and self-effort are the factors that will excel them if they want to be great in future.
Earlier, the commissioner for education, Mrs Idongesit Etiebet, had stated that the future of Akwa Ibom State depended on the content and quality of instructions given as well as the professionalism in the discharge of their duties as teachers.
Describing teachers as invaluable pillars that support society for sustainable growth and development, the education commissioner lauded the contributions and sacrifices of teachers in the training of Akwa Ibom children.
She scored them high in performance while requesting for more update and upgrade to remain relevant and competitive within Nigeria and globally and maintained that despite the dwindling economy, government has demonstrated capacity in the prompt payment of salaries, promotion, training and retraining of teachers, construction and reconstruction of schools, equippingof libraries and laboratories, provision of peremiter fence in schools to cater for safety and security of lives amongst others.
She called on teachers to reciprocate the kind gesture by ensuring that value-based education is delivered in Akwa Ibom State.
The chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers, Comrade EdetEmenyi, said teachers are the central instrument with which a true transformation can be achieved, as they translate government’s educational ideals, plans and policies into light and implement them accordingly.
Emeniyi maintained that as professionals, teachers do not only help learners to acquire knowledge, competence and virtue, but also provide direction to the society’s continued development and sustenance as well as chart the course of existence and progress for the country.
He commended government for training and retraining of teachers to meet current global expectations, payment of salaries and other earned entitlements as at when due, provision of conducive teaching and working environment which allow for acquisition and up-to-date teaching.
He appealed to the state government to grant the extension of teachers retirement age from 60 to 65 years and teaching service years from 35 to 40 as approved by the Federal Government and other welfare packages for teachers including the Teachers Salary Scale.
Goodwill messages were presented by the chairman, State Secondary Education Board, chairman, Technical Schools Board, permanent secretary, State Universal Basic Education Board, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, Nigeria Teachers Institute and Nigerian Labour Congress.
Awards of excellence were presented to 30 deserving teachers, recognizing them for an outstanding performance and contributions towards the growth of the sector and a cash prize,courtesy of His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel, to further motivate and encourage them to do more.
High point of the event was march-past by selected teachers across the state.
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