Adeola Adefemi of Keke Senior High School, Agege, Lagos, has emerged as the winner of the ninth edition of the Maltina Teacher of the Year competition at the grand finale, held in Lagos recently.
Adefemi received a cash prize of N6.5 million. She will also enjoy all-expense-paid capacity development training in the UK. At the same time, her school will get either a fully equipped computer laboratory or a six-classroom block worth N20 million in her honour.
Azuh Chike of Ezemu Girls Grammar School, Delta, emerged as the first runner-up, with a cash prize of N1.5 million. Adam Abdulqadir Ndi of Model Science College, Niger, was the second runner-up, with a N1.25 million cash prize. In addition, 27 other teachers who emerged as state champions from their respective states received N500,000 each.
In his goodwill message, the Minister of State for Education, Dr. Yusuf Sununu, disclosed that there are growing national efforts to bring back the glory days of teachers in Nigeria. He noted that the new national teaching policy developed by the Federal Ministry of Education, in collaboration with education stakeholders, addresses the career path, remuneration, teaching standards, qualification, capacity development and other vital issues to revitalise the teaching profession.
“Education is our collective responsibility, and its failure can be taken as the failure of the entire country,” stated Sununu. “It is based on this that the Federal Ministry of Education recognises and commends the efforts of Nigeria Breweries Plc-Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund to celebrate outstanding teachers across Nigeria.”
The Lagos State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Jamiu Alli-Balogun, who represented Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, lauded Nigerian Breweries Plc for its significant contributions towards making the teaching profession an enviable one amidst the low morale. He said that the state government appreciates the significance of such competition in improving the quality of teaching and students’ performance.
“As a government, we are proud to identify with this Award because it resonates with our teacher’s welfare programme. We appreciate that teachers are at the heart of successful learning, so we introduced the EKOEXCEL TRAINING to support and empower them and impact pupil and teacher success,” he said.
The Corporate Affairs Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Sade Morgan, thanked all valued stakeholders and partners for their support for the competition, particularly the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) for providing the company with access to its database of verified and registered teachers, as well as providing the teachers with adequate information about the competition and requirements for the application process.
Morgan disclosed that this year’s edition witnessed the highest number of entries ever, with a record-breaking 1,499 entries from all 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory. “We received an impressive 1,203 valid entries, the second-highest number we have received since the competition’s inception,” she said.
The Chairman of the board of directors of the Nigerian Breweries Plc, Asue Ighodalo, said the competition provides the rare opportunity to recognise the magnificent roles of teachers and to do more in support of those individuals who take pride in this noble profession. He added that the company’s investment in the competition through Felix Ohiwerei Trust Fund aims to advance the quality of education at all levels in Nigeria.
“Through the Maltina Teacher of the Year competition, now in its ninth edition, we have been able to uplift the nobility of the profession by successfully recognising a total of 211 state champions, eight national champions, and equipping eight schools with educational facilities such as blocks of classrooms, an auditorium, computer laboratories, and a library,” Ighodalo stated. It is certain that at the end of today, another star will be born as an outstanding teacher deserving of the title “Maltina Teacher of the Year.”
Since its inception, the initiative has produced nine grand winners: Rose Nkemdilim Obi (2015), Imoh Essien (2016), Felix Ariguzo (2017), Olasunkanmi Opeifa (2018), Ezem Collins (2019), Oluwabunmi Anani (2020), Abanika Taiye (2021), and Alaku Ayiwulu (2022).