By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
Olubunmi Anani’s annoucement as the Maltina Teacher of the Year (MTOY) was the second by a woman since the award began in 2015.
The English teacher at Concordia College, Yola, Adamawa State follows Rose Nkemdilim Obi, who made history as the pioneer winner of the contest in 2015 during an electrifying event held at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Since then, four men have won the award.They are: Imoh Essien, Akwa Ibom (2016), Felix Ariguzo, Delta State (2017), Olasunkanmi Opeifa, FCT (2018), and Ezem Collins (2019).
For winning the award held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Anani got N6.5 million as star prize. She was presented with N1 million for emerging the national champion in addition to the N500,000 she got as Adamawa State champion. She will also get N1 million yearly for the next five years from the Nigerian Breweries – Felix Ohiwerei Trust Fund.
Apart from the cash prize, Anani will get an all-expense paid capacity development training abroad while her school would get a fully equipped computer laboratory or block of six-classrooms worth N20 million.
Anani was followed by Idele Benedicta, a teacher from Asoro Grammar School (Senior), Edo State, in second position winning N1.5 million while Adeeko Folukemi, a teacher from Patterson Memorial Baptist Grammar School, Abeokuta, Ogun State placed third with a prize of N1,250,000. Twenty-seven other teachers, who emerged as state champions, were also rewarded with N500,000 each.
The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, praised the company’s commitment to supporting the education sector by rewarding high-performing teachers through the yearly Maltina Teacher of the Year initiative.
Nwajiuba said it was heartwarming that the company is keeping faith with this initiative despite the disruptive impact of the coronavirus pandemic on businesses and economy.
The Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr Jordi Borrut Bel, explained that the initiative was designed to recognise, celebrate and motivate teachers whose stories have become great reminders of their role in laying the foundation for a good society.
Congratulating the finalists alongside state champions for coming this far, he stated that the role of teachers cannot be underestimated given their contribution to shaping and moulding lives.
“With the Maltina Teacher of the Year, we are saying that our teachers can and should be rewarded for their roles in the development of our nation,” Bel said.
Also, the Commissioner of Education, Lagos State, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, who represented the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, lauded Nigerian Breweries, noting that teachers play a significant role in nation-building given their contribution in imparting knowledge in students.
The Corporate Affairs Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mrs Sade Morgan, stated that the sixth edition was an improvement on the preceding year in terms of participation as the initiative received 1,234 entries from teachers all over the country despite the short submission period and other challenges caused by coronavirus pandemic.
Morgan praised the resilience and uncommon passion of teachers for defying the odds by finding new ways to teach students through virtual means despite the technological limitation. She added that their contribution during the difficult period lends credence to their critical role in societal development.
Miss Anani thanked Nigerian Breweries and Maltina for putting smiles on the faces of teachers by rewarding them.