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Gov Wike Pledges To Tackle Teachers’ Challenges

Rivers State governor, Barrister Nyesom Wike has promised to tackle teachers’ problems ranging from non-implementation of financial arrears, promotion for 2011, 2012 and 2013, among others.

Governor Wike, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, gave the assurance on Monday in Port Harcourt at the occasion of the ‘World Teachers Day’ celebration, noting that during his 100 days in office celebration, he instructed the Head of Civil Service to attend to the needs of teachers with a view to responding to the issues bordering on their welfare.

At the event, which theme was ‘Empowering Teachers, Building Sustainable Societies,’ Wike noted that teachers were key to national sustainability and capacity building, assuring that the state government would ensure adequate provision of financial, human and material resources for teachers and educators.

He urged the teachers to remain committed to their duties and loyal to the state government.

“We shall work towards accomplishment of good teaching and learning environment, both for the students and for the teachers within our limited resources.”

Also in his speech, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Minabelem Michael West advised the teachers to be of good conduct both in and out of the classroom, as their pupils and students regard them as their role models, noting that they were part of developmental efforts of the Rivers State government.

“We want to raise the bar of teachers knowledge base, hence much as we are determined to cooperate with teachers and educators, we shall not fail to do away with non-performing ones,” the permanent secretary warned.

National president of Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, Comrade Michael Alogba Olukoya appealed to the federal government to tackle the security challenges posed by the Boko Haram sect, deal with the discrimination visited on graduate teachers in primary and secondary schools by way of placement of their terminal salary grade levels in various states of the federation.

The NUT in addition demanded an upward review of their retirement age to 65 while asking for establishment of National Secondary Education Commission to supervise and play advisory roles as the National Basic Education Commission, UBEC, National Universities Commission, NUC, among others.

NUT chairman in Rivers State, Comrade Nkpogone Dumnaatah Lucky had in his welcome address appealed to the state government to assist the body to build a befitting state secretariat, ensure regular payment of their salaries.

Dr. M Alozie Nwala of the University of Port Harcourt presented a key lecture in which he noted that only an empowered teacher could participate fully and fruitfully in the task of building a sustainable society.

Highlight of the occasion was match parade by the 23 local government areas wings of the NUT.

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