Education: Gov Emmanuel Moves To Improve Teachers’ Lots
By Umoh-Obong Kingsley
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has reiterated his commitment to advance the educational sector of the state by improving the benefits of the teachers.
He disclosed this on Monday during a rally by the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) to the Government House, Uyo led by the chairman of the union, Mr Etim Ukpong.
Receiving the teachers, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Sir Etekamba Umoren, who represented the Governor, stated that as an education-loving Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel cherishes and appreciates what the teachers are doing, and will do everything humanly possible to ensure that teachers get their benefits as at when due.
NUT Chairman, Mr Etim Ukpong, noted that the teachers were not on a protest mission but to relay important and vital information, seeking the support of the government for the continuous existence of public education in Nigeria. “We are on a rally to inform you that the national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) directed all state wings of the union to rally across the country to specifically give the position of the whole Nigerian teachers on matters of autonomy to local government council.
“NUT is not opposed to the provision autonomy to local government council, but they are saying, in wanting to give autonomy to local government councils, they should remove management of primary education. In removing the funding and management of primary education, and even the entitlement of primary school teachers of the local government should be handed over to the state for analysis.”
In response, Sir Etekamba Umoren addressed the teachers that Governor Udom Emmanuel, who was on an official engagement outside the state, would channel the grievances of the teachers to the appropriate authority.
“Governor Emmanuel believes that the reward of the teachers is not only in heaven but right here in Akwa Ibom State. He will not wait until you get to heaven before you receive your reward, but he will let you have them here.
“His Excellency is an education-loving Governor, and he knows that teachers are the bedrock of education. He is Governor today because he was taught by teachers. I’m standing here representing him because I was taught by teachers. My both parents retired as primary school teachers, therefore, we won’t sit here as people who have enjoyed what the teachers did for us and then allow them to be suffering.”
He further stated that “Even when the primary school teachers are not within the purview of the state government, Mr Udom Emmanuel still goes ahead to do everything humanly possible as a Governor and government, for teachers to get their benefits. I can tell you that he is solidly behind the teachers because he wants your lots to be improved. If you don’t bring up our children right from when they are young, imagine what would happen to them when they get to adult age.
“As far as His Excellency is concerned, the teaching profession is a noble profession, and he tends to sustain that. If we allow the teachers to go without their benefits being paid, then we are not encouraging the young ones to join the teaching profession. Without teachers, I don’t know where each and every one of us would have been today.
“As an education-loving Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel cherishes and appreciates what the teachers are doing, and will do everything humanly possible to ensure that teachers get their benefits as at when due.”
Together with the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Sir Etekamba Umoren, to receive the teachers were Head of Service, Mrs Ekereobong Akpan; Commissioner for Education, Pastor Paul Alexander Udofia; and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Education Monitoring, , Mrs Idongesit Etiebet.