Stakeholders in the education sector who attended the unveiling of the 2017 edition of the Maltina Teacher of The Year, have emphasized the importance of teachers and the teaching profession in the quest for the nation’s growth and development.
In a paper to flag-off the 2017 edition of the initiative Professor Aloy Ejiogu, a Professor of Educational Management at the University of Lagos maintained that teachers are unarguably extremely invaluable drivers of societal norms, values and growth and no other person can have such an overarching influence on the life of the young members of the society as the teacher.
He noted that the teachers’ impact is not only outstanding by its success stories, but also by its potential and real time errors, while also arguing that whereas the medical doctor buries his mistakes, and the engineer dies with his mistakes, the entire society perishes with the mistakes of the teacher.
“Then, can you ever imagine a Nigeria without any teacher – preprimary, primary, secondary and tertiary? Or what more, a Nigeria replete with demotivated, disgruntled, unqualified and incompetent teachers who cheat their way through this sublime and noblest of human responsibilities? What would we have in return? Ejiogu queried.
Mr. Chika Abanobi, Education Editor of The Sun Newspaper, and a discussant at the flag-off ceremony re-echoed Ejiogu’s position and affirmed that a nation is as good as the quality of its teachers. He advised stakeholders in the education sector to step up their game in order to halt the slide in the quality and standard of education in the country.
In his contribution, Apostle Adekunle Olaoye, Chairman of the Parents’ Forum of Babs Fafunwa Millennium Senior Grammar School, Ojodu, Lagos, submitted that education remains the best legacy a nation can bequeath to the younger generation. He commended Nigerian Breweries, the promoters of the Maltina Teacher of the Year initiative for the bold step taken to motivate teachers across the country.
Mr. Imoh Essien, 2016 Maltina Teacher of the Year, a teacher from Special Education Center for Exceptional Children, Uyo, Akwa Ibom, called on government and other corporate organisations to emulate the gesture of the sponsors of the initiative to motivate teachers and improve the standard of education in the country.
Also speaking at the occasion, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, represented by Mrs. Yetunde Odejayi, Permanent Secretary, Deputy Governor’s office, described teachers as the most critical asset of the nation and thanked Nigerian Breweries for the initiative she described as a big boost to teachers and the teaching profession.
In his remarks, out going Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. NicolaasVervelde, represented by Mr. Kufre Ekanem, the Company’s Corporate Affairs Adviser, explained that in 2015, the Nigerian Breweries-Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund expanded its intervention in education in Nigeria to teachers through the Maltina Teacher of the Year initiative. The initiative, he disclosed, was hinged on the realisation that teachers seldom get the recognition they deserve in spite of the pivotal role they play in determining the quality of education. He declared that so far, the Maltina Teacher of the Year initiative has produced 42 State Champions and two overall winners.
Vervelde added that entries for the 2017 Maltina Teacher of the Year opened on Tuesday 9th May 2017 and will close on Friday 7th July 2017. He urged interested teachers to download application forms from the Maltina website.
Vervelde asserted that the company will maintain the focus adopted for the 2016 to include teachers from both public and private secondary schools across Nigeria.
Like last year, each State Champion will get N500, 000.00 and the Top 10 teachers will be recognized before the grand winners are announced. The 2nd and 1st runners-up will receive trophies and an additional N750, 000.00 and N1, 000, 000.00 respectively.
The Maltina Teacher of the Year 2017 will get an additional N1, 000, 000.00) instantly plus N1,000,000 every year for the next five years, a development training opportunity abroad and a block of classrooms built at the school where he/she teaches.