Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has tasked the teachers to be focused and diligent for the state to be ranked among the best five states in the country in public examinations in 2020.
Fayemi said the state government was not comfortable when Ekiti State came 12th in a recent ranking by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) results in 2019. He assured that his government would play complementary roles by providing enabling environment in all public schools for teachers to deliver optimally.
Fayemi spoke yesterday while commissioning a block of classroom built by the Universal Basic Education Board at Methodist Nursery/Primary School in Ikere-Ekiti to mark the first year of his administration.
The governor, who was represented by the Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Funminiyi Afuye, said: “We are not comfortable with that 12th position. Education was on the bare ground in 2010 when we came for the first term. We lifted it to be one of the best before 2014.
“We renovated about 182 public schools and substantial improvement came before 2014, but Ekiti went to sleep thereafter. There is a new sheriff in town. That is Dr. Kayode Fayemi and education will be back to its pride of place.
“If you look at the trajectory of Ekiti, education is our pride. Education is coming back and we will be one digit in ranking in external examinations in Nigeria, if not first.”
Fayemi said he has started taking concrete steps to turn around the education sector by erasing taxes and other anti-people policies that could reduce enrolment in schools.
“Ekiti was the least in enrolment in the south-west when I resumed office in 2018. But the first step I took was to stop all levies in public schools and took other multi-pronged approaches like construction of additional school buildings, and I also keyed into the federal government’s school feeding project and that have impacted positively on education and our economy,” he added.
Fayemi said his government would reintroduce agriculture, entrepreneurial education and sporting activities at the primary cadre of education in the state.
The SUBEB Chairman, Prof. Francisca Aladejana, represented by Dr. Kayode Adeoye, said Ekiti State has devised many initiatives to make public schools compete with their private counterparts.
Aladejana revealed that the state government has paid a sum of N4 billion as counterpart funds to UBEC to initiate education programmes that would launch Ekiti State back to reckoning as academic hub of the nation.