It was a defining moment for teachers in the Lagos State Education family on Tuesday when 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 Lagos teachers 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.
The Governor congratulated the recipients and urged them to serve as the State’s Ambassadors of Excellence.
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.
“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 to Lagos teachers, 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 from the Lagos State Government, were 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.