The race for the 2016 Maltina Teacher of the Year has sparked huge expectation and excitement as four female and six male teachers are in the final battle for who will be named the best teacher in Nigeria on October 20th, 2016.
The ten finalists, who emerged on September 29th, 2016 from the pool of state champions include: Omole Sylvester Folorunsho from United High School, Ilawe Ekiti State; Maureen Paulinus, an Agricultural Science teacher from Jewel Model School, Abuja; Patrick Ogor Lawrence from Government Day Secondary School, Adankolo, Lokoja, Kogi State; Onwukwe Ernest Onyebuchi from Alvana Model Demonstration Secondary School, Owerri, Imo State; and Agbu Cornelia Nnemdi from Nnosem Comprehensive School, Afikpo, Ebonyi State.
Others are Oyimba Cordelia Ebele, from Western Boys High School, Benin City, Edo State; Mohammed Binta Lawan, Federal Government College, Maiduguri, Borno State; Imoh Essien, from Special Education Center for Exceptional Children, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State; Isaac Pef, from Government Day Secondary School, Wukari, Taraba State; and Yusuf Kadala, from ECWA Academy, Demsa, Adamawa State.
The teachers are in the final phase of the screening ahead of the grand finale where the winner will be crowned in Lagos on October 20th.
Lawan, an English Language teacher was the First Runner-Up in the maiden edition last year. She explained that her commitment to service and desire to make students productive are her main reasons for being part of the competition. She also expressed her gratitude to Nigerian Breweries Plc for being forerunners of a cause that seek to re-orient the nation towards the teaching profession.
Essien, a teacher of Computer, Basic Sciences and Physical Education revealed that he draws his inspiration for teaching from his fun loving personality through which he is able to be of immense help to children with special needs. He added that being a teacher who deals with specially challenged children can be a tough task if the teacher is not well equipped emotionally and mentally for the job. “Nigerian Breweries is doing well to recognize teachers who help shape the future of our societies,” he said.
Folorunsho, who started as an auxiliary teacher says that he is delighted and proud to have emerged as one of the finalists this year. According to him, “the teaching profession in Nigeria is bedeviled by so many uncertainties which can make or mar students through the teachers input. So I think Nigerian Breweries Plc is helping to bridge this gap by motivating, encouraging and celebrating the profession.”
Paulinus, an Agricultural Science teacher who said she entered the competition to encourage other teachers explained that teaching is “a call to serve, a call to plant and nurture seeds that will later germinate to make positive impact on the society.”
Lawrence, also an Agricultural Science teacher gave kudos to Nigerian Breweries Plc for trying to reorient teachers towards the value of their profession.
Onyebuchi, a Chemistry teacher says being one of the finalists inspired hope and confidence in him because it means people are mindful of the things he does that affect them one way or the other.
Nnemdi, another English Language teacher who was among the finalists last year believes she will do better this year. “I can do better now, so I decided to try again to take advantage of this opportunity Nigerian Breweries Plc is championing,” she said.
Ebele, a Cultural and Creative Arts teacher believes that her pedigree in teaching has earned her the recognition to be part of the finalists this year. She commended Nigerian Breweries Plc for the initiative.
Pef, another Agricultural Science teacher and Kadala, a Business Studies teacher opine that being a teacher is a privilege because it creates a platform to learn, as well as interact with your students which adds to your knowledge.
Like last year, the Maltina Teacher of the Year 2016 will get one million Naira instantly, plus one million Naira every year for the next five years. The package also includes a development training opportunity abroad and a block of classrooms to be built at the school where he/she teaches
The Maltina Teacher of the Year initiative with prizes worth N50 million annually, is done on the platform of the Nigerian Breweries/Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund. The Trust Fund was established in 1994 to contribute to the development of the educational sector in the country.
Last year, a teacher from Anambra State, Mrs. Rose Nkemdilim Obi emerged winner at the maiden edition of the Maltina Teacher-of-the-Year.