From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
A Lagos based teacher with Oke-Edo Senior High School, Alimosho, Lagos, has emerged the overall best teacher in Nigeria as announced by the Federal Government on Wednesday.
She was selected out of thousands of teachers that were shortlisted for national recognition as part of event to mark the 2022 World Teacher’s Day, and was rewarded with a brand new car.
Also rewarded were Ifetike Chekwube Hope from Government Technical College, Onitsha, Anambra State, who emerged the first runner-up, and Adelana Owolabi Paul from Ijebu Muslim College (Junior), Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, who emerged the second runner-up.
On private school category, Ugokwe Marilyn Uchenna from Susu College, Nkpor, Anambra, State, emerged the overall best teacher, while Adeniyi Olusegun Michael from Caleb British International School, Lagos, and Ayantola Tajudeen Ajayi, from City of Knowledge Academy, Itanrin, Ogun state, emerged first and second runners-up respectively.
St. Michael’s African Church School, Ogun State (primary) was also announced as the best public school in Nigeria, while Nigeria Science and Technology College, Nnewi, Anambra State, and SUBEB Model Nursery and Primary school, Ikole Ekiti, emerged first and second runners-up, respectively.
Similarly, Chukwunedum Sabina Ijeoma, of the Abbot Girl’s Secondary School, Ihiala, Anambra State, emerged the best school administrator of the year. Also, Akinseloyi Adeola Anne of St. Monica’s Girls Grammar School, Ondo state, and Alamu Bolanle Olusola of the Government Senior College, Agege, Lagos, took second and third positions, respectively.
Federal Government Colleges otherwise known as Federal Unity Schools and their teachers were also rewarded for their contributions to the basic and secondary education system in Nigeria.
Usman David Auta from Federal Government Girls’ College (FGGC), Bwari, Abuja, emerged the best teacher in Federal Unity Schools’ category, while Ogu Evelyn Ozoemezie from FGC Portharcourt and Onyemaechi Pius Chinedu from FGGC Nkwelle Ezunaka, emerged second and third positions, respectively.
On administration category, Yakubu-Oyinloye Tokunbo Olafinsao of the Queens’ College, Lagos, emerged the best FGC administrator, and she was followed by Opute Dasoye Ngiere of FGGC Ikot Obio Itong, Akwa Ibom State and Ibrahim Abner of the FGC Billiri, Gombe state.
FGC Portharcourt was recognized as best FGC in Nigeria, and was followed by Federal Government Academy, Suleija, Niger State, and FGC Kano.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who presented the awards to the teachers at an event to commemorate the 2022 World Teacher’s Day in Abuja, on Wednesday.
He explained that the recognitions was to appreciate the teachers for their immeasurable contributions to the growth and development of the society.
He assured them that better days are ahead as the new teacher’s policy was already being implemented at tne Federal level and in some States, urging other states to immediately do so because the gains are already showing.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, in his remarks congratulated all winners of the Presidential Teacher’s and Schools Awards, and reiterated government focus on deepening the reforms in the education sector with enhanced funding.
He called on states and local governments to prioritise the welfare of teachers by placing their salaries on first line charge in their respective budgets. “This, we believe will provide a solution to the spectre of unpaid salaries,” he said.
President of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Titus Amba, said in his remarks, that the education system in Nigeria is in crisis and need urgent redress.
He lamented the deplorable state of education system and poor working conditions of teachers which has adversely affected education service delivery, especially in the public sector.
He said: “At the tertiary level, students of public universities have been out of school for about seven months due to the protracted industrial dispute between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
“The basic and secondary education sub-sectors are faced with serious challenges. These include non-implementation of the N30,000.00 minimum wage for teachers in some states, shortage of teachers, poor infrastructure, lack of instructional materials, insecurity in schools, inadequate funding and poor conditions of service.”
He appealed to Governments at national and sub-national levels to place high premium on education and accord teachers their pride of place in society. “We must brace up as a nation to invest adequately in education by raising the budgetary allocations to education in line with the internationally recommended benchmarks of at least four to six per cent of GDP and/or 15 to 20 per cent of public expenditure.”