The news has gone viral. But only a few people reluctantly celebrated the best teacher of a whole district in Lagos State, not Ogun and not Oyo.
Since the announcement of the pitiable prize, reactions have continued to fly with fellow teachers decrying the way teachers are being ridiculed in this part of the world.
Among the thousands of teachers in Education District IV, Raheem Adekoya, emerged as the best-performing teacher. His dedication, commitment and pedagogic sophistry were noticed and identified. However, he was poorly celebrated.
His society fails him. He is being told that he didn’t belong in the right place where immorality instead of cerebral excellence is hugely celebrated.
“In lofty recognition of outstanding performances, excellence contributions, commitment and dedication to service as an outstanding educator in education 2022,” Adekoya wrote on his wall to celebrate the feat.
Adekoya is a Muslim teacher at Sanya Senior Grammar School in Ijeshatedo Surulere. Lagos
He dedicated the award to his teachers, especially his darling mother.
His students will feel bad. They will be discouraged that their teacher received a meagre prize for years of meritorious pedagogic services. They begin to see teaching as a thankless effort.
In 2019, when I emerged, together with two other teachers, as the best teacher in my school, I received N50,000. Also, last month, Landmark College, Ikorodu Lagos, distributed N400,000 among three teachers to appreciate their creativity. The first prize was N250,000.
Not only this. Teachers whose students performed excellently in external examinations were hugely rewarded monetarily.
This is a private school appreciating the efforts of its teachers.
Some will claim the school has the money to spend. So, Lagos State is poor. The ministry of education can’t approve at least N250, 000 for the best in a district.
A teacher emerged as the best in the whole education district. The highest prize presented to him was N20,000. Hmm! It is not worth celebrating at all.
I pray God reward AbdulRaheem in another way.