A 38-year-old teacher has emerged winner of the 2019 Maltina Teacher of the Year.
Chizuruoke Collins Ezem, who teaches Civic Education and Christian Religious Studies at the Royal Academy, Wuse, Abuja, the N6.5m prize money at the event held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos on Friday.
The father of two also won, for his school, a block of six classrooms as part of the Nigeria Breweries’ through the Felix Ohiwerei Educational Trust Fund to develop and raise the standard of education across the country.
The Abia State-born teacher becomes the second teacher from Abuja to win the coveted award that attracted an unprecedented 1,310 entries from the 36 states of the federation, back-to-back.
The first runner up went to Soji Megbowon, a teacher in Lagos State, he received N1.5 million (plus N500,000 as state champion) while a teacher from Katsina State, Fidelis Atondo, emerged 2nd runner up with N1.25 million, as well as N500,000 as state champion.
The Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr Jordi Borrut Bel, said the competition had impacted over 35, 000 students, 74 communities, primary, and secondary schools in the country.
Bel explained that in recognition of the important roles played by teachers, the foundation had since 2015 continued to celebrate teachers across the length and breadth of the country.
Besides, he said the initiative is hinged on the realisation that teachers hardly get the recognition they deserve, in spite of the pivotal role they play in determining the quality of education and the future of students across the country.
The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, in a goodwill message, declared that the journey towards excellence in the teaching profession and recognition of outstanding teachers is a continuous one.
The Vice President commended the Felix Ohiwere Education Trust Fund for improving the fortunes of the education sector, saying the example is worth emulating by every well-meaning corporate organisation in the country.