From Gyang Bere, Jos
Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong has reaffirmed his commitment towards enhancing the dignity of teachers in Plateau State through sustaining the payment of salaries and allowances, improving school infrastructure and ensuring that the standard of education continues to rise.
Governor Lalong disclosed this on Monday during an event to mark the 2021 Teachers Day at the Ministry of Education, Joseph Gomwalk Secretariat Jos, Plateau State.
The governor who presented awards and cash gifts to teachers from various schools who were selected for their performance said his administration prioritises education and believes that it is the best way to address the challenges of the nation.
‘I am aware that despite our efforts to address the decay and neglect of the past which we inherited, there is so much that still needs to be done to provide the conducive atmosphere for our teachers to perform optimally. Your resilience and hard work is a great motivation to our administration in ensuring that we do everything possible to make our schools better,’ the governor stated.
‘Apart from improving the school infrastructure, we have taken other deliberate steps to revamp the education sector here on the Plateau. You will recall the last employment exercise, where about 2,000 teachers were employed and posted to the seventeen Local Government Areas.’
Governor Lalong revealed that he has used his position as Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum to ensure that Plateau State was selected as one of the beneficiaries of the World Bank program known as the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Environment Project (AGILE), where about 1,000 academic and 1,000 non-academic staff will be recruited to add to the already existing teachers in the state.
On the Lalong Legacy Projects which has many schools, the governor said: ‘I was highly disappointed by the contractor who did not perform according to the agreement and timelines given to him. That is why we had to terminate the engagement and thankfully, the court has given us judgement.
‘We are going ahead to complete the work and ensure that our people have world-standard schools and hospitals. Nobody can stop us from completing these Legacy Projects.’
Commissioner for Education Mrs Elizabeth Wapmuk said this year’s theme for the World Teachers’ Day which is “Teachers at the heart of Education recovery” is timely and provides hope to the future generation.
She said there is a huge task ahead and teachers must be proactive to make a lasting impact in regaining lost ground and ensuring that the lives of children are not jeopardised.
Wapmuk noted that teachers must use education to overcome the pandemic and also teach students to be resilient and work towards finding solutions to future challenges.
She paid tribute to Governor Lalong for ensuring that the lost glory in the educational sector is recovered. According to her so far, a lot of progress has been made as the state has recorded improved the performance of its students in national and international examinations.
Wapmuk said with seasoned educational technocrats in the Ministry of Education, the state has injected the use of ICT in enhancing learning and teaching with tremendous results.
Mr John Ushaku Jobdi, a teacher from Plateau, is among those that will receive National Teachers Presidential Award for emerging best teachers in the Country at an event holding in Abuja on October 5.