CHAIRMAN of the Ondo State Wing of the Nigeria Union Of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Ojo Fanimokun, has said that the administration of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has liberated teachers in the state from age-long agony.
Comrade Fanimokun, who is also the chairman of the union in the South West, including Edo, Delta and Kwara states made the statement Tuesday when he led representatives of the union from the 18 council areas of the state on a thank you visit to Governor Mimiko in his office in Akure.
According to him, the age-long request of primary school teachers for career elongation from grade level 14 to 16 has been achieved under the administration of Dr. Mimiko, stressing that the gesture would boost the morale of the teachers, and cause them to put in more efforts into bettering the lot of basic education, which is the bedrock of societal transformation.
Comrade Fanimokun said, “Teachers never had it so good in the state until the present administration came on board in 2009. With this gesture, teachers can now enjoy career elongation without any hindrance. Teachers get their wages, allowances as well as promotion as at when due under the Mimiko-led administration.”
Other notable initiatives of the governor, which the union appreciated include the construction of mega schools, free shuttle buses and regular payment of teachers salaries and establishment of the Quality Education Assurance Agency among others.
He said on assumption of office in 2009, Governor Mimiko among other things approved the 27.5 per cent teachers’ special salary scale, approved N1.4bn for the payment of outstanding gratuities for local government workers and primary school teachers, adding that he was bold to say that Ondo State now is the only state that still sustains the 27.5 per cent payment.
He appealed to the teachers to reciprocate the gesture by showing more dedication and commitment to duty towards repositioning the education sector in the state.
In her remarks, the state chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Bosede Daramola, affirmed that Ondo State remains the only state in Nigeria that has placed its teachers on grade level 16.
She stressed that workers in the state have enjoyed a robust and reasonable relationship with Governor Mimiko, who had always made workers welfare number one priority of his administration.
While responding, the governor thanked the labour leaders for their cooperation and partnership with government in achieving more successes in all sectors of the state’s economy. .
Dr. Mimiko, who charged the teachers to be more committed to their duties described basic education as very critical to the development of any nation hence the need to build for higher recognition.
He pledged his administration’s continue commitment to prioritise policies and programmes that would eliminate inequality in the society.
Mimiko had on Monday approved the creation of graduate teachers’ cadre and elongation of their career from grade level 14 to 16.
By the approval, government now considers and approves the recognition of relevant university degrees as a teaching qualification in its primary schools.
Consequently, graduate primary school teachers in the state with relevant teaching qualifications at the primary level can now enjoy career progression like their counterparts in other sectors of the state public service.