The Kayode Fayemi administration in Ekiti State says it has defrayed inherited debts to the tune of 31 billion naira since assumption of office.

The Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, has explained that the over N7.6 billion counterpart paid to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has yielded 1,200 infrastructural projects in public schools in the last 27 months of his administration.

The Governor who disclosed this on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of a five-day training workshop on pedagogical competencies and digital literacy for newly recruited teachers of public primary schools in Ado Ekiti said his administration would always prioritise teachers’ welfare.

Represented by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, the Governor said the training programme was designed to introduce the teachers as new employees in the public service and to their roles and duties as teachers with the the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).

A statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, disclosed that the training was organised for 2,000 selected teachers including 600 newly recruited by the state government and 100 teachers selected under the Federal Teachers Scheme.

The Governor noted that restoration of release of running grants to public schools, supply of teaching aids and equipment and reconstruction of dilapidated structures and construction of new ones are some of the steps taken to reposition the sector.

Fayemi stressed that his administration was desirous of equipping teachers with new teaching aids and tools for quality and effective teaching and learning for the best interest of pupils in public schools.

The Governor who pointed out that education is the first leg of the Knowledge Economy pillar of his administration said the training was designed to sharpen the skills of the trainees as professional teachers and prepare them for the task ahead.

The state Chief Executive described the process of selecting candidates for the training as transparent, competitive and merit-based regardless of background, gender, religion, political inclination and in some cases, state of origin.

Fayemi emphasized that his administration introduced a multiplex pronged approach to tackle problems directly or indirectly militating against access of children to free and qualitative basic education which explained its determination to clear the backlog of UBEC counterpart funds left unpaid by the last administration.

He said: “The major one among these is the conscious efforts towards providing a conducive teaching and learning environment on schools through the payment of over N7.6 billion counterpart funds to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).

“This has translated into the execution of over 1,200 UBEC/SUBEB infrastructural projects in the last 27 months of which have now been completed.

“We are not unmindful of the challenge of dearth of teachers in public schools in the state. As a responsible government, when we came on board, we took stock of the teachers to enable us know where we need recruitment.

“Therefore, in 2019, we set machinery in motion to fill existing vacancies in public schools and in fact, the entire state public service for optimal performance in all sectors.”

Earlier the SUBEB Chairman, Prof. Femi Akinwumi, revealed that the Fayemi administration cleared outstanding payments to UBEC covering 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 which has seen to the execution of over 1,200 in 909 schools across the state.

Prof. Akinwumi hailed the Governor for his passion for the educational development of the state particularly for granting the approval for the employment of 600 young men and women as the first batch of teachers recruited by the Board to teach in public primary schools.

The SUBEB boss charged the trainees to be professional in their conduct and work as a team with their colleagues, superiors and subordinates in order to meet the target set by the Fayemi administration.

“It is hoped that at the end of this induction training programme, all the participants will be in tune with their roles and responsibilities of their new positions as teachers in public schools,” Prof. Akinwumi said.

He said the Board would be counting on the trainees to be diligent in the discharge of their duties urging them to do their best in moulding the future of the children committed to their care.

Goodwill messages were delivered at the event by representatives of UBEC, Association of Head Teachers of Primary Schools of Nigeria and other stakeholders.

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