Sixteen-year-old Esigbone Omagbemi Ferdinard of Roshallom International Secondary School, Egbeda, Lagos, who came third in the Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition for Secondary School students last year has emerged the overall winner in the 2019 edition of the competition having scored a total average of 68 per cent.
The second position went to Oluwaseun Esther Aremu of Shepherd International College, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, with an average score of 61 per cent, while Adeola Ademuwa Ifeola from Chrisfield College, Itamaga, Ikorodu, Lagos came third with an average score of 60 per cent.
The fourth position was a tie, with West Tamunonye also of Christfield College, Itamaga, Ikorodu and Anazia Rita from Roshallom International School, Egbeda, recording an average score of 56 per cent. Ajayi Ibukun of Fit-Charis International School and Olaitan Olajuwon of Chrisfield College, Itamaga, both took the fifth position respectively in the competition with an average score of 54 per cent.
While announcing the 2019 results of the competition, the Chief Examiner, Professor Akachi Ezeigbo, disclosed that 612 essay entries were sent in for assessment, representing a drop of about 28 per cent, when compared to 848 that were received and assessed last year. The drop does not indicate any waning of enthusiasm for the competition:
“On the contrary, feedback from teachers and students indicates that some schools in Lagos are now adopting the winning entries of this competition as models in their teaching of writing and rhetoric. As we understand it, the drop arises in part from new management strategies introduced by the organisers to ensure that only credible entries are sent in for assessment.”
He postulated that the teaching of responsible internet usage in secondary school curriculum has become very paramount and of necessity: “The fact that almost any material is available and accessible via a click makes a compelling case for us to introduce the teaching of responsible Internet usage in the secondary school curriculum.
“We recommend a review and expansion of the syllabus of a subject like civic education to include teaching students to understand that plagiarism violates Intellectual Property (IP) rights, and that referencing the literatures they consult as they make their points is a key aspect of their academic development.”
In the first round of the 2019 edition of the competition, 612 entries were received from junior and senior secondary schools across different states of the federation. The topic was, Justice as an Instrument of Enduring Peace in Nation building while the second round topic was Entrenching Tolerance as Solution to Nigeria’s Ethnic and Religious Crises.
For coming top in this year’s competition, Master Esigbone of Roshallom International Secondary School, Lagos will get a cheque of N100,000, a personal Laptop, a trophy, a plaque, while the school gets three sets of computer and a printer. Miss Aremu of Shepherd International College Ado-Ekiti who came second will go home with a cheque of N75,000, a plaque and the school will get two sets of computers and a printer. For emerging the third position in this year’s competition, Master Adeola from Chrisfield College, Itamaga, Ikorodu Lagos will go home with a cheque of N50,000, a plaque and the school gets a computer set. The other winners will get a consolation price of N20,000.
The prices for the winners of the 16th Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition for Secondary Schools in the country will be presented at this year’s Mike Okonkwo Annual Lecture in Lagos, on Thursday September 5, 2019. The theme for lecture is “Justice as an Instrument of Enduring Peace in Nation Building”. The lecture will be chaired by Chief (Mrs) Folake Solanke (SAN) while the lecture will be delivered by Femi Falana (SAN).
The competition was initiated in 2004, as part of activities to celebrate the birthday of the Presiding Bishop of TREM, Dr Mike Okonkwo and more importantly to contribute to the development of the educational sector. The sponsor of the competition, Okonkwo, is confident of the fact that Nigerian youths can compete favourably with their counterparts in developed nations.