Governor Obaseki and Edo NUT

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From Inwalomhe Donald

The plan by the Edo State chapter of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) to embark on an indefinite strike is baseless. Governor Obaseki has done much for teachers and the state government does not have any issue with anybody, as it has been very supportive of teachers.

I say that the biggest conspiracy against Governor Obaseki is the decision of Edo NUT to embark on strike and their refusal to allow the governor to find solutions to the problems they have raised. The same union that gave Obaseki an award in 2019 has suddenly turned a critic of Governor Obaseki.

Let Edo NUT tell Nigerians what has transpired despite changing rhetoric and four years of educational reforms. Were Edo teachers compelled to give Obaseki an award in 2019, attend political rallies during 2020 Edo election dressed in Edo BEST blue t-shirts? Were they also mandated to attend political rallies in Edo 2020 election with their teachers’ tabs? I demand an answer and an apology from Edo NUT. Edo teachers cannot deceive us this time.

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In 2019, the NUT bestowed an award of the ‘2019 Best Performing Governor’ on the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki. The teachers said the governor emerged as winner of the award in recognition of his efforts in improving basic education with several educational projects and teachers’ welfare in the state.

They noted that Obaseki has achieved so much in transforming the sector within three years of his assumption of office. The colourful ceremony at the Eagle Square in Abuja was held to mark the World Teachers’ Day, which was attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami.

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The award was presented to the governor by the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who urged Obaseki to continue with the good work of repositioning education in the state.

Obaseki’s administration is continuing with the upgrade of infrastructure utilizing the framework of the Minimum Standards for Basic Education in Nigeria. Edo SUBEB has developed an infrastructure plan in addition to definition of what constitutes a standard primary school, and classroom to ensure that the reforms of this current administration will be sustainable.

However, this administration also recognizes that infrastructure alone is not enough and has decided to adopt a holistic approach to improving the quality of basic education provisions and learning outcomes. Some 11,600 schools-based management committee (SBMC) members were trained to strengthen the governance of Edo schools.

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Communities are now pulling resources together to support their local schools: providing security and other support. Community groups are now actively engaged in ensuring compliance from contractors renovating schools in their communities.

To mitigate the impact of school closure on learners and ensure that children continue learning from home, Edo State Universal Education Board (SUBEB) has launched EdoBest@Home programme.

The Edo State Government Friday, took on primary school teachers in the state over the planned strike action by the teachers commencing from February 1, 2021. The people of Edo State are waiting for Edo NUT for an explanation for the sudden change of mind towards Governor Obaseki.

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