The Ekiti State wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has expressed support for the Executive Order 001 prohibiting the collection of unauthorized fee by head teachers and principals of public schools.
Describing the order as a step in the right direction, the union commended the state government for payment of West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) registration fees of students in public secondary schools in the State.
The Chairman of NUT, Ekiti State wing, Mr. Samuel Olugbesan, who led other executive members on a courtesy visit to the Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi in his office in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, explained that their visit was to open up a channel of communication on ways to further improve the quality and standard of education in Ekiti.
Assuring the state government of the union’s readiness to support and partner the government in moving education forward, Olugbesan sought the consultation of stakeholders in the education sector in arriving at policies and decisions affecting teachers in the state.
Pressing home the demands of teachers in the state, the NUT chair, among other demands, demanded the recruitment of teaching personnel to fill the gap created by retired teachers, extension of the grade level of graduate teachers to Grade Level 16 like their counterparts in secondary schools, provision of instructional materials to schools and regular interactions between government and teachers.
Olugbesan said: “Your Excellency, let me hasten to point out that NUT wholeheartedly support the government position on certain issues as it concerns the running of schools in Ekiti State through Executive Order 001. It is a right step in right direction.
“Your Excellency, we may not be able to hide our feelings to declare that much would be achieved and accomplished in the field of education by your government to the glory of your great party, if NUT as a legitimate Trade Union of Teachers in both primary, secondary and technical colleges in Ekiti State are not only given adequate recognition, concerns it deserves, but also be involved along with others agencies of education in policies and decisions in the field of education, all in a bid to sustain and improve on industrial harmony existing in the field of education in Ekiti State.
“Your Excellency, we want to thank this government for payment of WAEC registration fee of students in public secondary schools in Ekiti State.”
Responding, Egbeyemi tasked the union for their diligence and strict adherence to government order.
The deputy governor, himself a former teacher, reassured that the government had no intention of laying off any of the teachers in the State.
Egbeyemi disclosed that the payment of workers’ salary was on the priority list of Governor Kayode Fayemi-led administration.
He said: “Most of you are saying we are going to lay you off, have we laid anybody off ever since we assumed duty?
“Do your work diligently and keep to government order. I will not be party to chasing anyone away from service. As long as you comply to government orders nothing shall touch you.
“We will make teachers’ and other workers’ salary a priority. We must develop people before developing infrastructure.”