A teacher from Royal Family Academy, Wuye, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, Mr Collins Ezem, 38, has emerged the winner of this year’s Maltina Teacher of the Year(MTOY) Award.
He was announced winner on Friday night at the grand finale of the 2019 MTOY award ceremony held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos with the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented at the event by the Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Uwajiuba, wife of the Lagos State’s governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu; the secretary to Lagos State government, Mrs Folasade Jaji, the commissioners for education, Lagos and Ekiti states, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo and Mr Folusho Daramola respectively, registrar of the Teacher’s Registration Council of Nigeria, Prof Josiah Ajiboye; Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Commission, Mr Oyeyemi Boboye, among others in attendance.
With his emergency as current MTOY Award winner Ezem, who teaches Christian religious studies/civic education, became the second teacher in two years from FCT to win the award. Mr Olasunkanmi Opeifa, an English language teacher at the Government Day Secondary School, Karu, Abuja, won that of last year.
MTOY award, an annual event with this year’s edition fifth in the series, is an initiative of Nigerian Breweries Plc domiciled under its humanitarian arm- Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund- to identify and showcase committed and hardworking secondary school teachers nationwide and consequently lift the education sector and the economy as a whole.
However, Ezem is rewarded with a gold trophy, a certificate of excellence and N6.5 million money prize in all for the achievement and the money is spread for five years-N1 million and N500 000 for being a national and state champion respectively and N1 million to be paid yearly for the next five years if he remains as a teacher and he would also attend all-expenses-paid capacity development programme abroad.
His school would also be provided with a block of six classrooms, toilet facilities and a library for producing him.
In his remarks, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Uwajiuba, commended Nigerian Breweries for providing the platform, saying the impact of MTOY award had truly shown in the performance of both the teachers and their students and also the education sector generally.
He congratulated the winner and other finalists, urging them and their colleagues across the country to be more committed to their profession.
Speaking also, the Lagos State governor, who was represented by the state’s commissioner for education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, said teachers are critical stakeholders in the education sector and therefore deserved recognition and celebration by the society.
Teachers’ roles in the development of human society, he said, cannot be quantified.
Sanwo-Olu, therefore, urged other corporate organisations and philanthropic individuals to take a cue from Nigerian Breweries gesture by joining government at all levels to provide more befitting learning and teaching environment for schools
Speaking earlier, the Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries, Mr Jordi Borrut Bel, noted that an independent panel of judges headed by a renowned political economist, Prof Pat Utomi assed all the entries, 1 310 in all, received this year from which the best three emerged.
He emphasised that the award initiative was to recognise hard work and diligence among teachers so as to boost their morale for improved performance and by extension, education development of the country.
Borrut Bel explained that through the education trust fund, the company had built more than 400 classrooms and 35 equipped libraries and numerous toilet facilities in both primary and secondary schools across 74 communities nationwide.
He promised that the company would continue to add value to the teaching profession, the education sector and the economy as a whole.
The previous winners of the award starting with the immediate past to the first are Mr Olasunkanmi Opeifa(FCT); Mr Felix Ariguzo(Delta State): Mr Imoh Essien(Akwa Ibom State) and Mrs Rose Nkemdilim Obi (Anambra State)