ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, SENATOR, DR. IFEANYI OKOWA, GOVERNOR OF DELTA STATE, ON THE OCCASION OF WORLD TEACHERS DAY CELEBRATION HELD ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 05, 2016, AT THE CENOTPAH, ASABA
His Excellency, Barrister Kingsley Burutu Otuaro,
the Deputy Governor,
Hon. Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly,
My Lord, the Chief Judge of Delta State,
My Lord, the President, Customary Court of Appeal,
Hon. Members, Delta State House of Assembly,
Members of the State Executive Council,
The Secretary to the State Government,
The Head of Service,
The Chief of Staff,
The Senior Political Adviser,
The Chairman, NUT, Delta State
The Chairman of PDP, Delta State and Chairmen of other Political Parties in the State,
Top Government Functionaries,
Your Royal Highnesses,
My Lords, Spiritual and Temporal,
Members of the NUT, Delta State
Gentlemen of the Press,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.
It gives me great pleasure to address you on the occasion of World Teachers Day 2016.
- First, let me begin by thanking all of you for shelving the planned strike for last month. It is a good indication of your willingness – and readiness - to partner with this administration to deliver good and quality education by ensuring that our school calendar is not disrupted, with all the negative consequences on productivity and social stability.
- I wish to formally acknowledge the cooperation and understanding of the leadership of the Nigerian Union of Teachers in Delta State. You have displayed remarkable statesmanship in this very trying period. I assure you that this administration shall continually strive to improve the welfare of teachers in the State and create a more conducive learning climate in our educational institutions.
- I still crave the patience and support of all of you because the financial crisis that we are confronted with is far from over. You have my highest assurances that all your
legitimate expectations will be adequately met once the financial situation improves.
- Every year, the World Teachers Day offers us the opportunity to reflect on the noble profession that teaching is, and its invaluable role in nation building. Growing up, apart from our parents, the next most influential person in any person’s life is a teacher. A good teacher has the power to impact us for good. Every professional – doctor, engineer, pilot, journalist, politician etc, - is the product of a teacher. He/she may not earn more or as much as other professionals in our peculiar clime, but a teacher is an indispensable asset when it comes to influencing a generation or being change agents themselves. A teacher has the capacity to mould a person’s character and prepare him/her for success in life.
- In view of the foregoing, it is my firm persuasion that every teacher should hold his/her head high; whether rich or not. To my knowledge, people rarely remember the rich and the famous after they are gone. But almost everybody I know remembers a teacher that impacted his/her life positively and motivated him/her to become somebody in life. I believe this fact alone is sufficient motivation for every teacher to be the best he/she can be by committing to these time-tested principles/values:
Be a Good Role Model – A teacher is in a unique position to teach people and at the same time be a positive role model. A teacher must be a good example of discipline, hard work, morality, transparency and integrity. Once you lose these attributes, you lose your ability to influence those under your trust for good. As a country we have had enough bad role models; it’s time to turn the situation around.
Be a Mentor – Education in the 21st century has radically transformed. In the current dynamics of learning, teachers are no longer considered reservoirs of knowledge; they are to be mentors and creators of a dynamic learning environment where the pupil/student is eager to learn. Learning should be fun and it is the responsibility of teachers to ignite the student’s passion and love for learning.
Be a Motivator – A good teacher should be a motivator, not one who demoralises or discourages his students through a high handed attitude or mean spirited approach to his work. I believe that a teacher should inspire his students to aspire to great heights by focussing on and harnessing their God-given potentials. A wrong word, critical attitude and abusive tendencies can stifle creativity and lead to low self-esteem in the students. A good teacher is the one that can boost their self-esteem and motivate them to maximise their full potentials in life.
Be a Lifelong Learner – A good teacher never stops learning. It could be formal or informal, but do all you can to update and upgrade your knowledge especially in this era of technological revolution where knowledge is at our finger tips. Read wide, subscribe to online journals/materials, have an email address and be ready to be a thought leader in the age that we live in. If you don’t, you might find yourself intimidated, even embarrassed, by some of your students who have engaged these tools for their personal development.
- Courageous – Often times, things go wrong in the school system and degenerate to the point of crisis because people choose falsehood over truth, deception over forthrightness and compromise over courage. A great teacher is a person of great fidelity. Make the truth your watchword in life and career and watch God do great things in your life and that of your family.
- Thank you for your attention.
- God bless us.
Office of the Governor