Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State says the government will revisit the case of teachers who were penalized, recently, for truancy and lateness to work.
The Governor had ordered the suspension of some teachers and dismissal of forty-one Inspectors of Education for dereliction of duty. However, some others were also rewarded and promoted for being punctual and always at work.
Giving hope to the sanctioned teachers at a Town Hall meeting with stakeholders in the education sector in Benin City, yesterday, Governor Oshiomhole said: “I am ready to reconsider the case of the teachers whose case is not really bad. If you were absent maybe once a month or two months, we may reconsider but those who are perpetual absentees and perpetual latecomers, may God forgive them, I may not be able to forgive them.”
The Governor who agreed to recall some of the teachers following pleas by royal fathers and other stakeholders at the meeting however said “I have a lot of respect for all who spoke, but we must be able to strike a critical balance between being seen to be nice and taking the difficult decisions that will move the state forward.
“The responsibility of driving this state must be shared by all of us. There is no sentiment when it comes to work. Somebody has to build this state, not by emotion. We need to take a critical look at this situation much more seriously. Sentiments will not take Nigeria far. Everyday we excuse the thief, we are encouraging more people to take to crime.
“We have listened, we appreciate your concerns and pleas, but we must share the burden of getting Edo going. The ones we can excuse, we will look at it.
“As a teacher, you are not into teaching merely on account of your pay. You are in the business because you have a passion for imparting knowledge”, he said.
The Governor who said Missions are making a case for the return of Schools to them warned that “everyday I go to schools and I find that teachers are not there, we are close to handing over to missions.”
He said the government will look at a plea for adult education to cater for the needs of those who are above school age saying government will also rebuild the Technical College in Benin City in year 2013.
Responding to a question on the new Land Use Charge, the Governor said government needs to employ more civil servants and teachers “and that means higher wage bill. The costs are going up but the revenue is static. God will not be pleased with me if I don’t look at the long-term future of our state. My wish is that we must lay a solid foundation so that a future Governor who wants to work will work.”
He explained that the new Land Use Charge will not affect the poor living in high-density areas and people in the rural areas, but is targeted at the landlords in the GRA who live in mansions in excess of 100ft by 100ft.
A physically-challenged man, Mr. Timothy Osemwegie who made a plea for a job at the Town Hall meeting was given automatic employment by the Governor and directed him to report to the Acting General Manager Edo Broadcasting Service, EBS.
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