The Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi, has restated his commitment to the payment of teachers’ salaries on the 15th day of every month.
Governor Umahi, who received a delegation of the state council of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) at the EXCO chambers in Abakaliki, said his directive was in spite of the fact that allocation from the Federation Account get to the states a month after.
He explained that his administration was not prepared to toy with the welfare of teachers because of their importance to the upbringing of future leaders.
Governor Umahi frowned at the poor performance of Ebonyi State students in the West African Examination Council evaluation and charged the NUT to re-evaluate its members first before the middle of January 2016. According to him, his administration would also re-evaluate the teachers next year, because “we can’t continue to come last in WAEC evaluation. We need to come from between one and three.”
He noted that the re-evaluation of teachers was necessary to arrest the dwindling academic standard in the state since “we cannot afford to mortgage the future of our children.” The governor however assured that no teacher would be disengaged as a result of the re-evaluation.
Governor Umahi urged the NUT to liaise with the Commissioner for Education, Prof. John Eke, to come up with a programme that would enable the government mount consistent and effective supervision of schools. Governor Umahi said that in spite of the economic hardship in the country, the state government had resolved to put smiles on the faces of its workforce.
He said, ” During this Christmas, every teacher must go home with a bag of rice. In this Christmas every senior civil servant must receive 50 per cent salary bonus and every junior civil servant must receive 100 per cent salary bonus.”
The governor added that the state Executive Council had approved the purchase of computer laptops for primary and secondary school teachers in the state, but noted that certain conditions must be met before the purchase.
“EXCO has okayed laptop for teachers; but certain measures have to be guaranteed . And it is to protect you (teachers). I want the deduction on the teachers to be very low. No teacher should pay more than N2,000 monthly deduction under this programme,” he stressed.
The governor, who accepted the proposal for the establishment of at least one ICT centre in each of the senatorial zones of the state, stated that the government had commenced the training of teachers on ICT to bring them in tandem with development across the world.
The governor directed the managers of the education system in the state to as a matter of state policy re-introduce clubs like the debating societies, press clubs, drama clubs, etc into primary and secondary schools in the state to assist in brushing up the students.
He used the opportunity to appeal to the teachers to support the government’s agricultural policies, stressing that the 2016 budget of the state was predicated on Agriculture. On the arrears of salaries and leave allowances owed to the teachers, the governor said, “I will appeal to you to look at our circumstances and continue to believe that we are owing you.”
Earlier, the state Chairman of the state NUT , Comrade Joseph Nweke, told Governor Umahi that his team came to thank him for his kindness towards the teachers in primary and secondary schools in the state. Nweke, who enumerated various areas teachers had benefited from the government, applauded the governor for his giant strides in infrastructural developments across the state. [EBSG]