The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has claimed glory for the emergence of the state as best performing in the National Examinations Council (NECO), saying the feat was a result of the education policy of the administration of former Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
The party said the foundation of the NECO feat was laid by what it called “sound education policy by Fayemi, which provided incentives for good learning environment and provision of educational items that enhanced learning among the students”.
This is in contrast to the claim by the Ekiti Government that the impressive feat was a result of radical measures taken by the Governor Ayo Fayose-led administration in the state.
The Ekiti APC said the explanation became imperative, as Fayose was wont to claiming unmerited credits for Fayemi’s achievements, citing 2014 budget by the former governor that was adjudged the most effective and transparent in Nigeria by an organisation, but which the incumbent celebrated as his achievement.
The 2016 June/July NECO results was released on Friday with Ekiti adjudged the best performing state with 96.48 percent success followed by Edo State, which came second with 96.31 percent.
Reacting to the state’s performance, APC Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, said in a statement yesterday that the feat was attributable to education policy instituted by Fayemi that put life into educational administration and management in the state.
Mr. Olatunbosun explained that Fayemi, who is currently the Minister of Solid Minerals, called an education summit to develop a roadmap for quality education, which he implemented to the letter as governor of Ekiti.
The APC spokesman in the state maintained that the foundation laid by the administration created environment for learning as never before, resulting in the latest incredible performance by the students.
He also noted that the current success did not happen overnight but the result of long planning by Fayemi between 2011 and 2014.
Listing the incentives instituted by the former governor that had brought about the latest performance, Olatunbosun explained:
“Fayemi gave a laptop per child that exposed them to study online and eradicated miracle centres while providing incentive to teachers, including renovation of schools to enhance good learning environment, and also approved special allowances for core subjects and rural postings for teachers.
“Fayemi’s giant strides in education made Ekiti one of the three states in the federation that benefitted from the World Bank’s $50m State Education Programme Investment Project (SEPIP).
“He renovated 183 secondary schools and 836 primary schools and provided other incentives, including establishment of remedial colleges to cater for out-of-school students in the 16 local governments, which made the state to record 52% credit pass in English and Maths in 2013 while the state also won many firsts in various quiz competitions in the same year, topping it with a student from Ikere High School, who won the best male student in WAEC”.
The party regretted that while Fayemi introduced and sustained compulsory free education at primary and secondary education levels, Fayose had cancelled the policy, making pupils to pay taxes per term while teachers remained unpaid for seven months.
It said the move also resulted in teachers’ strike that kept the students out of school for months – a development that could not have resulted in this successful outing.
“Fayemi administration of four years when the successful students were in Junior secondary school, impacted well on them such that they had a solid educational background which translated into the latest success.
“Between 2011 and 2014, Fayemi was consistently rewarding best hardworking teacher with a brand new car and paid WAEC fees of students ranging from N86m to N140m, which Fayose has also stopped.
“Fayemi’s administration was continuously organising training programmes for the teachers, while 400 motorcycles were distributed to teachers serving in rural areas, even as he distributed 20,000 sets of lockers and chairs to public schools across the state.
“He delivered books worth N6m to the State Library Board to encourage reading culture among teachers and students and promoted no fewer than 4,000 primary school teachers between 2010 and 2014, including Head Teachers and Deputy Head Teachers, some of whom were demoted by Fayose upon assumption of office”.
The APC spokesman added that teachers benefited from the relativity pay for all categories of workers in the public service and also benefited from the 27.5% Teachers Pecuniary Allowance, while Ekiti was the first in the South West to implement the relativity pay, bringing the minimum wage from N7,500 to N19,300 without owing teacher’s salaries.
Noting that Fayemi also organised continuous capacity building programmes for teachers and established intensive state-wide coaching programme for SSCE/NECO and JAMB candidates, Mr. Olatunbosun regretted that all the schemes had been cancelled by Fayose, who was also owing teachers six month’s salary arrears.