Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa at the weekend announced car and cash rewards for a secondary school principal, Mr Fidelis Okolafor, and primary school head teacher Mrs Doris Toyin Esiedafe for their excellent service over the years.
Okolafor and Esiedafe and ten others emerged winners of the maiden edition of the Teachers Award for Excellence, organised by the state Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education.
While Okolafor emerged Best Principal in public secondary schools, Esiedafe won the overall best prize as Head Teacher across public primary schools in the South-South state.
At the award ceremony in Asaba, and capping the state’s celebration of this year’s World Teachers’ Day, Okowa congratulated all the awardees and promised to present cars to the the two school heads in addition to cash rewards.
Okowa said the award was a motivating factor for teachers to continue to play their important role in the academic and moral upbringing of children.
He admonished teachers to be committed to duty, promising to increase the rewards in subsequent editions of the awards.
“The reward for teachers is not in heaven with what I am seeing here, but that is for those who are outstanding. I believe this kind of recognition will touch the hearts of our teachers and make them work harder,” the Governor stated.
He who stressed that teachers are vital to the overall development of an individual, urging them never to neglect mentoring children both academically and morally.
“Two set of persons – parents and teachers – are very important in child development. But parents today are busy pursuing money, ignoring the moral development of the child,” Governor Okowa observed.
“When they get to school, there is a lot of pressure arising from lack of parental care. And the teacher is also under pressure, which limits their attention to the child. So, we end up with children that do not have the best at home and at school.
“So, when we have those dedicated to the cause of the child development with commitment, they truly deserve to be honoured. Teachers should not only teach but also make out time to find out things about the children.”
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Samuel Dietake, said the awardees were selected from a process that involved over 49,000 teachers and students in 470 public secondary schools and 1,126 primary schools in the state.
He said that the assessment was done and vetted by a team of academics drawn from various tertiary institutions in the country.
The state chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Titus Okotie, thanked the Governor for the rewards, promising that the development would spur other teachers to work hard.