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Governor Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State has said his administration would address the issue of non-disbursement of car and housing loans to primary school teachers in the state. His goal is to ensure that these educators can access the benefits already enjoyed by their counterparts in secondary schools.

The governor provided this assurance in Ado-Ekiti during a meeting with Education Secretaries from all 16 local government areas in his office earlier this week.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Governor’s Special Adviser on Media, Mr Yinka Oyebode and made available to newsmen in Ado- Ekiti on Sunday.

Governor Oyebanji had met with the Education Secretaries to get first hand information on some complaints by the teachers, which were hitherto unknown to him.

Expressing concern about some revelations during the meeting, Governor Oyebanji pledged that the government would look into the issue of career progression of degree holders in primary schools. The aim is to potentially enable them to reach Grade Level 16 or 17 as the case may be.

He also promised to address other issues affecting the teachers including redistribution of teachers to ensure that rural areas get their fair share of teachers as well as provision of incentives to those serving in rural areas.

The Governor also said Government would consider the implementation of the newly recommended retirement age of 65 and years or 40 years of service for teachers.

While cautioning concerned authorities against inviting teachers to seminars with inadequate or no provision for their welfare, Governor Oyebanji said teachers should henceforth be well treated and respected as moulders of future leaders.

“I am absolutely grateful for the feedback and it means that our work is cut out for us. I have identified those key areas that we need to act on- levels enhancement to Grade Level 16, car and housing loans for primary school teachers, implementation of the new retirement age and other issues that would make them more effective and fulfilled on the job. Government will act on these very soon”, the Governor said.

On recent complaints by teachers over paltry training allowances paid to them, the Governor said: “This is what I am going to advise, if they reduce the training grant, its better you have a smaller number or sit down with the teachers before the commencement of any seminar and tell them what is available. There must be conversation, if they have this information, maybe they will show understanding, then they can align their movement and other things to make the seminar convenient for them. But, I am opposed to the idea of inviting teachers to seminars and making inadequate or no provision for their welfare. That should not happen again. “, he added.

Speaking further, Governor Oyebanji said that his administration would continue to provide avenue for everyone to participate in his government so as to effectively chart the way forward in all sectors of his developmental agenda.

The Governor commended teachers in the state for their commitment to duty and determination to ensure that the administration succeed in its education and human capital development efforts.

In their separate comments, the Head of Service, Engr. Sunday Komolafe, Commissioner for Education, Dr (Mrs) Bimpe Aderiye and Chairman, State Universal Education Board (SUBEB), Prof Femi Akinwumi, restated the commitment of the government to the welfare of teachers and entire workforce in the state.

The Executive Secretaries, who admitted that the meeting with the Governor was the first of its kind in the history of the state, commended Governor Oyebanji for giving them the rare opportunity to bare their minds on issues touching on the education sector in the state.

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