It was a defining moment for teachers in the Lagos State Education family on Tuesday. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu presented handsome rewards to teachers adjudged to have made quality impacts in the State’s teaching service.
Thirteen teachers and school administrators got a brand new car each from the Governor at the Year 2020 Teachers’ Merit Award organised by the Ministry of Education. The awardees were part of the finalists nominated for the grand prize by the Screening Committee led by the chairperson of Association of Private Educators in Nigeria, Mrs. Lai Koiki.
The merit award is an initiative of the Sanwo-Olu administration to reward teachers’ commitment and excellent service to boost delivery of quality education in the State.
Over 3,700 applications were reviewed by the screening committee; 23 teachers and school administrators made it to the final stage. They were adjudged to be passionate, visionary, and adept in modern teaching techniques.
Sanwo-Olu, while presenting the cars to the recipients, said his Government was cognizant of the essential role of teachers in building a prosperous society, stressing that the reward would be made regular to inspire hard work and excellence.
The Governor said the merit award was institutionalised in fulfillment of his pledge to raise the bar of excellence in education and make teaching service a rewarding profession.
He said: “Today, I celebrate the remarkable teachers who leave no stone unturned in molding lives, building character and preparing our students for a productive future. In Lagos State, teaching is not a thankless job and this annual Teachers’ Merit Award is a proof that Lagos will always reward excellent, committed, and diligent teachers.
“We are cognizant of the essential role that teachers play in building a formidable society, which is why we are committed to rewarding exceptional teachers on a regular basis. This is one of the key strategies for the actualisation of the Education and Technology Pillar of our development agenda. We cannot thank our teachers enough for the passion they bring to the job and for inculcating in our children the values they require to excel as global citizens.”
Sanwo-Olu said the award was a genuine way to promote merit and encourage healthy competition amongst our teaching staff in Lagos. He appealed to teachers to continue to uphold the ethics and standards of the profession, urging them not to relent in demonstrating uncommon sense of responsibility in discharging their duties.
The Governor said his administration would not waiver in achieving the key goals of its Education and Technology pillar, pledging to provide holistic education that would enable children to excel and compete with their peers globally.
The Government’s commitment to capacity building in education, Sanwo-Olu said, is reflected in the periodic recruitment and training of highly qualified teachers, pointing out that the State’s strategic investment in technology and provision of digital devices to support learning in basic schools had begun to yield the desired results in terms of quality teaching.
“We will continue to prioritise investment in education by improving the capacity, competence and welfare of our teachers, bridging the teacher-pupil ratio in our schools, making the education sector more ICT-compliant, exposing our teachers to international best practices as well as ensuring that our schools are conducive for teaching and learning with quality and modern infrastructure,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The Governor congratulated the recipients and urged them to serve as the State’s Ambassadors of Excellence.
The state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, said the merit award was initiated by the Governor to raise the bar of excellence in public teaching service and inspire commitment of teachers.
She said the event was a testimony to the pledge by Sanwo-Olu to reward teachers for their contribution to education, stressing that the gesture had elevated education in the State.
She said: “In line with T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda to deploy education and technology to produce highly resourceful students, teachers must be equipped in 21st century skills to deliver this promise. Teachers’ welfare, training and development remain the focus of this administration.
“The awardees will be showcased and exposed to multiple opportunities in the course of the year. They will be our ambassadors to enhance our vision and showcase the possibilities for delivering quality education and restoring prestige back in teaching. This will encourage young people to consider teaching career.”
Koiki, Director of Green Springs School, applauded the State Government for the initiative, stressing that the reward model recognised the importance of education as bedrock of development.
She said members of the screening committee came out of the process enriched and empowered for more collaboration with the public sector.
Chairman of the State’s chapter of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Adedoyin Adeshina, who has served 29 years in the teaching service, said Lagos education had benefited more under Sanwo-Olu, saying the Governor met excellent records, broke the records and set another record with the reward for teaching staff.
Dr. Wilson Barney, who represented private schools, said the gesture would inspire the teachers to spread their wings and deliver quality teaching to the next generation.
Recipients of the grand prize of brand new cars are nine primary and secondary school teachers, and three school administrators.
They are: Mrs. Ovinuyon Buhari of Gbagada Comprehensive Junior High School; Mr. Adesola Akindele of Lagos State Girls Junior Model College, Ikorodu; Salmot Obiwumi of Wahab Folawiyo Junior High School, Eti Osa; Mr. Temitope Gbadamosi of Immaculate Heart Comprehensive Junior High School, Kosofe; Rebecca Oyinloye of Amuwo Odofin Nursery and Primary School, and Mrs. Abosede Padonu-Daniel of Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, Eti Osa.
Others are: Mr. Ekundayo Ajiborisade of Clementina Ajigbeda Memorial Girls Nursery and Primary School, Surulere; Mr. Joshua Olasehinde of State Universal Basic Education Board, Eti Osa; Mrs. Tawakalitu Akinleye of King Ado Senior High School, Lagos Island; Mr. Oluwaseun Balogun of Ilupeju Senior Grammar School, Mushin; Mr. Rasheed Odenike of Civil Service Senior Model College, Igbogbo, and Mr. Tolulope Odusanya of Abibat Mogaji Millennium Senior Secondary School, Agege.
Ten other finalists were rewarded with consolation prizes.