Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has stated that his administration is committed to reversing teachers’ shortage through continuous recruitment of qualified teachers into the State Teaching Service.
Sanwo-Olu gave the commitment today while speaking at an event marking the 2023 World Teachers’ Day celebration, themed “The Teachers We Need for the Education We Want: The Global Imperative to Reverse the Teachers’ Shortage” at the NUT Pavilion, Agidingbi, Ikeja.
The Governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat assured that his government is resolutely committed to attracting the brightest minds and most compassionate hearts to the profession, as the government is convinced that no society can develop beyond the quality of its education system and which teachers occupy a prominent space.
“I wish to reassure Lagosians that we are resolutely committed to attracting the brightest minds and the most compassionate hearts to this noble profession because we are convinced that no society can develop beyond the quality of its education system and of which teachers occupy a prominent space”, Sanwo – Olu said.
The Governor disclosed that a total of 4,950 qualified teachers were recruited into the post-primary schools between November 2019 to December 2022, adding that the recruitment was done to fill the vacuum created as a result of statutory and voluntary retirement.
According to him, the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) will soon release names of new teachers to be recruited into Primary Schools across the State in a replacement of existing teachers.
Besides, the Governor stated further that his administration understands that education is the bedrock upon which the state’s progress and prosperity are built and will continue to be steadfast in her pursuit of the education the state desires for the children, through a continuous review of her education curriculum to reflect current and emerging realities.
“It is with this in mind that we have embarked on a journey to not only recognise the immense value that our teachers bring to our communities but to also take proactive measures not only to address the global imperative of reversing teacher shortage but also improving the delivery capacity of our teachers through a well-structured training and development programme”, Sanwo-Olu stated.
He noted that the State’s commitment to investing in the professional development of educators has yielded and continues to yield tangible results in the impressive performance of students among their peers both locally and internationally.
He also stated that the government has implemented comprehensive training programmes under the Eko Excel empowerment programme from which a total number of 14,000 public school teachers benefited. This included the provision of access to cutting-edge resources and established support networks to ensure that teachers are equipped to inspire and empower the students.
In addition, the Governor stressed that his government has taken substantial steps to recognise the invaluable contributions of the educators knowing fully that a motivated and fulfilled teacher is the cornerstone of a thriving educational system, saying “Efforts are aimed at igniting and sustaining the passion for teaching and the pursuit of knowledge”.
He, therefore, enjoined a collective endeavour that requires the collaboration of governments, communities, parents, and every stakeholder interested in the future of children.
Earlier in his Goodwill message, the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Jamiu Tolani Alli-Balogun stated that the state government will continue to treat teachers’ welfare as the utmost priority all the time.
He added that the government will continue to provide capacity building for the teachers in the state, alongside investment in digital tools for improved teaching delivery and performance, noting that the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education will increase focus on technical education which will help to provide more opportunities for the learners.
Also, in his address, the State Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Lagos State Wing, Comrade Hassan Mujeeb Akintoye urged the government to foster an ecosystem where teachers are empowered to ignite the flames of curiosity, critical thinking and creativity in students, adding that investment in teacher training, professional development, and fair compensation is not an option but an imperative.
Speaking further, Akintoye bemoaned the challenges teachers are facing, which he said threatens to undermine quality education.
Comrade Akintoye, therefore, advised that to reverse the challenge, the government must collectively embrace a global imperative, saying “We must attract, nurture and retain the teachers we need to cultivate the education we want”.