Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta
Determined to decongest classrooms and improve the students/teachers ratio in public schools in Ogun State, Governor Dapo Abiodun, has disclosed that his administration would engage more OgunTeach interns who are already in the service of the State.
Abiodun made this disclosure on Wednesday while addressing teachers who came on a thank-you-visit to his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
He, however, assured that his administration would not use and dump the interns, charging them to be diligent and committed to duty as the confirmation of their employment would be based on their performance and merit.
He said out of the 5,000 interns shortlisted, 2,000 have been absorbed, while plans are on to engage between 1,000 to 1,500 in the coming days.
“Since you have come in your numbers to say thank you, I will not forget that. I know we have shortlisted about 5,000 of you and we already absorbed about 2,000 of you, be rest assured that very soon, we will also absorb maybe another 1,000 or 1,500 of you. We will be expanding the scheme because we want to begin to decrease the students/teachers ratio so that we will have less number of students to more teachers as against having one teacher to about 500 students,” the Governor noted.
Abiodun bemoaned that in the last 12 years, the state has not witnessed any significant improvement in the education sector, adding that his administration has embarked on a journey, the end which would bring to joy to all and sundry.
“When we came in 2019, we promised that we were going to make a difference. We appreciate our very significant roles and place in the history of this country. We can’t separate the success of Nigeria or write about Nigeria without Ogun State playing a very prominent role in the success story. We are the education capital and birth place of free education.
“The truth is that we are in a journey and we are not yet there. It will take time because the deficit that we are dealing with did not happen overnight. So we will continue to take step by step in that journey. I can see the Promised Land and the light at the end of the tunnel,”he said.
The Governor reiterated that his government would continue to prioritise the education sector, saying the process for the employment of teachers was based on the principle of transparency and equity.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, in his remarks, thanked Governor Abiodun for accepting the idea of OgunTeach internship when it was presented to him, stating that the entire education sector is happy over the development
He said the sector, for many years, had faced challenges in manpower describing the process for selecting the teachers as thorough and transparent as everything was computerized to ensure that the best was chosen.
He urged the intern to continue to be hardworking in order to ease the regularisation of their appointment.
“The programme is not like the N-Power, where few people reported for work, but many get paid at the end of the month. For our OgunTeach programme, our interns have been coming regularly and working very hard because they want recommendations. So if you do well, government will do more than your request. You have to do well because we are using you to fill a gap that has existed for a long time. Please continue to put in your best for the benefits of the state,” the Commissioner noted.
Responding on behalf of the teachers, Folake Oyegunle and Tosin Fatunbi, applauded the Governor for providing jobs for them after many years of being redundant, promising to discharge their duties effectively towards the development of the education sector in order to realise the objectives of the OgunTeach scheme.