By Usman Aliyu
Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has tasked teachers in the state to build their capacity and acquire skills to facilitate virtual teaching as necessitated by the new normal created by COVID-19.
The governor stated this in his address at the 2020 World Teachers’ Day celebration organised by the Nigeria Union Teachers (NUT), Kwara Wing, on Monday in Ilorin.
AbdulRazaq, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Kayode Alabi, said that this call became necessary in view of how important virtual classes had become globally and which required every teacher to key into virtual teaching techniques.
“On our part, we will continue to cherish and honour you while working hard to improve your welfare and the work environment within the available resources.
“At the moment, we are spending a lot of money to reposition our schools.
“We have set machineries in motion to access the accumulated counterpart funds from the Universal Basic Education Commission to develop our schools and make them conducive for learning and teaching.
“Similar efforts would also go into various training programmes for teachers in order to push you further up the scale in national rankings.
Earlier in his address, the chairman of the NUT in the state, Chief Olu Adewara, urged the government to expediently grant its three point demand in order to further increase their confidence reported in the present administration.
Adewara demanded an immediate implementation of promotion and financial back up on the issued promotion letters in the past.
According to him, the promotion for members of staff of the state Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) was last done in 2014 with financial back up while promotion for 2015 and 2016 were without financial remuneration.
He said that the teachers in Senior Secondary Schools were yet to get promotion from 2017 to date.
“The last promotion for the state Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) teachers was in 2016, having its financial back up from second quarter of 2019’’.
The NUT boss also called for the payment of arrears of three months and 43 per cent of salaries owed primary school teachers by the immediate past administration.
The teachers’ union urged the state government to take more proactive steps on ‘sunset’ teachers in order to protect their jobs particularly those that were genuinely employed.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that sunset teachers are those employed at the tail end of last administration and whose salaries were stopped since June 2020.
Adewara prayed for the release of their salaries to enable them take care of their families.