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Abanika Taiye emerges as 2021 Maltina teacher of the year

Abanika Taiye, a teacher at James Hope College, Agbor, Delta state, has been crowned as the 2021 Maltina teacher of the year.

Taiye, a basic technology teacher, was crowned on Friday at the grand finale held at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos.

For emerging the winner of the 7th edition, Taiye will receive a cash prize of N6.5 million (N1.5million immediately and N1 million annually for the next five years) from the Nigerian Breweries/Felix Ohiwerei Trust Fund.

He will also be part of an all-expense paid capacity development training abroad while a fully equipped computer laboratory or six-classroom block worth N20 million will be built in his school.

Isaac Pev of Government Day Secondary School, Yonko, Taraba state, emerged the first runner-up, winning N1.5 million while Margeret Ofordum of Government Science and Technical College, Abuja, was adjudged the second runner-up with a prize of N1, 250.000.

Teachers from 30 other schools who emerged as state champions were awarded N500,000 each.

Speaking at the event, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, the minister of state for education, hailed the commitment of teachers towards impacting students despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

He called for further motivation of teachers to invigorate them to continue their inspirational and impactful work.

“Let me use this medium to congratulate all teachers in Nigeria, especially those who sent in entries and went through rigorous assessments. I congratulate the jury and celebrate all Nigerian students. As we celebrate Maltina Teacher of the year today, I want all of us to continue to motivate our teachers to continue to inspire others,” he said.

In his welcome address, Hans Essaadi, managing director of Nigerian Breweries Plc, said the award was created to reward the dedication of “some amazing men and women” without which “no society can exist”.

“We are here to recognise and reward some amazing men and women who remind us through their daily work that no society can exist the sweat of the teacher. A good teacher inspires hope, ignites imaginations, and instills a love of learning, literally shaping lives. As individuals, a great part of what we are today and what we have achieved in life and be traced back to the education that we received from our teachers,” he said.

Speaking shortly after he was announced as the winner of this year’s prize, Taiye expressed his delight at emerging as the champion, adding that the triumph and recognition will continue to spur him to impact students.

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