By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Momentum is gradually gathering as the search for the 2018 Maltina Teacher of the Year has kicked off with a call on teachers across the country to avail themselves of the opportunity presented by the initiative.
Corporate Affairs Adviser of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr Kufre Ekanem, explained that entries for the 2018 Maltina Teacher of the Year, which opened on Friday, May 25, 2018, will close on July 2, 2018.
He enjoined interested teachers to download application forms from the Maltina website, www.maltina-nigeria.com.
Applications forms are to be completed and uploaded to the website or sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to P.M.B. 12632, Marina, Lagos.
Mr Ekanem said the 2018 Maltina Teacher of the Year would get N1 million, a trophy and another N1 million every year for the next five years, as well as a block of classrooms built at the school where the winner teaches.
The first runner-up will receive N1 million and a trophy, while the second runner-up will have N750,000 and a trophy.
In addition, each state champion, including the winner and the first and the second runners-up will get N500,000.
The Maltina Teacher of the Year initiative has produced three grand winners: Rose Nkemdilim Obi of Anambra State (2015), Imoh Essien of Akwa Ibom State (2016) and Felix, Ariguzo of Delta State (2017). It has also produced 69 State Champions and six runners-up.
At the flag-off of the 2018 edition recently, the 2017 Maltina Teacher of the Year, Mr Felix Udochukwu Ariguzo, urged the government and other corporate organisations to emulate the example of Nigerian Breweries Plc and motivate teachers in order to improve the standard of education in the country.
In her key note address at the event, the Head of Department of Educational Foundations at the University of Lagos, Professor Ngozi Osarenren, explained that teachers are invaluable drivers of societal norms and the teaching profession must be respected to attract the best and the brightest.
Mrs Osarenren, a former Commissioner for Education in Edo State, listed factors that could attract the best hands to the profession to include professionalising teaching, reasonable and guaranteed salary, job security and competitive entry requirements for would-be teachers.
Other dignitaries at the flag-off included Barrister Okechukwu Okoroafor, Assistant General Secretary, Nigeria Union of Teachers; Dr Saadatu Saidu, Permanent Secretary, Kano State Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation; the Permanent Secretary, Anambra State Ministry of Education, Mr Nwankwo Linus; and the Director of Establishment in the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mr Biola Baiyewu, who represented the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Adebunmi Adekanye.
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