Nigeria: Abuja Teacher Emerges 2019 Maltina Teacher of the Year

7 November 2019

A teacher with the Royal Academy, Abuja, Collins Ezem Collins, has emerged the 2019 Maltina teacher of the year.

Mr Ezem, 38, a Christian Religion and Study and Civic Education teacher defeated 23 other teachers across Nigeria at the 5th Edition of Maltina Teacher of the Year event held in Lagos in October.

The prize money includes N6.5 million for five years, capacity development training, and a block of six classrooms for his school.

1,310 teachers submitted entries as against 641 in 2018, according to Nigerian Breweries Plc, the organiser of the event.

Megbowon Soji(Lagos State), and Ajodo Fidelis (Katsina State) emerged as the first and second runners up respectively and went home with N1 million and N750,000 each, in addition to the N500,000 they won as champions for their respective states.

Mr Ezem, a father of two and an indigene of Abia State, expressed excitement over winning the award and appreciated NB Plc for recognising teachers.

In his speech, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, the minister of state for Education, said the government is more focused on revitalizing education in Nigeria.

"Only two weeks ago we joined the rest of the world to mark the World Teachers Day celebration at a time when Nigeria is repositioning herself for a turnaround of fortune revitalizing the educational sector comprise a strategic place, the focus of this administration," he said.

"The revitalising of education in Nigeria has full right to the ministerial strategic plan of the federal ministry of education at revamping the sector."

Jordi Borrut, MD/CEO of NB Plc, said the competition has footprints across every part of Nigeria and has impacted a large number of people since inception in 2015.

"The fund has footprints across the six geographical zones in Nigeria at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education," he said.

"Through the fund, we have constructed and furnished over 400 classrooms, sanitary facilities and libraries in 74 communities across the country. We have also granted scholarships to deserving students in tertiary institutions."

The Maltina Teacher of the Year was launched in 2015 and has recognised 95 teachers from across Nigeria, the organisers said. The initiative is a project of Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund to recognise and celebrate exceptional teachers in the country with a focus on all secondary school teachers across the country.

It is endorsed by the Federal Ministry of Education and supported by stakeholders in the education sector including the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPPS), and the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN).

At the maiden edition, Rose Nkemdilim from Anambra State emerged the winner.

Imoh Essien (Akwa Ibom), Ariguzo Udochukwu (Delta), Olasunkanmi Opeifa (FCT Abuja) emerged winners in 2016, 2017, and 2018 respectively.

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