by Adedeji Ademigbuji

A teacher from Special Education Centre for Exceptional Children, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Imoh Essien, has emerged the 2016 Maltina teacher of the year at the grand finale in Lagos at the weekend.

For the feat, Essien was rewarded with N1million in addition to N500, 000 he received as state champion from Akwa Ibom.

He will also get N1million for five years, a training programme abroad and a block of six classrooms for his school.

Essien, a teacher of Computer, Basic Sciences and Physical Education, disclosed that he draws his teaching inspiration from his fun-loving personality with which he is able to help children with special needs.

He added that a strong emotional and mental stability is vital to positively impact children with special needs, a job he has done for twelve years.

An English teacher from Borno State, Mohammed Lawan, who was the first runner-up last year, repeated the feat in 2016.

Ogwu Patrick from Government Day Secondary School, Adankolo, Lokoja, Kogi State, emerged second runner-up.

Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc., Nicolaas Vervelde, explained the firm operates with the philosophy of “winning with Nigeria” and has championed causes that add value to the society since its inception in 1946.

He stressed: “Everywhere in the world, teachers play a vital role in sustainable national development by training, coaching and modeling which is critical to determining the quality of education”.

He informed that the company recently handed over a twin 3-bedroom staff residence to Federal Government Girls College, Onitsha, in honour of 2015 winner, Mrs. Roseline Obi.
Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, commended the initiative and described it as laudable.

He advised teachers to invest in themselves to raise their standard, adding that the ministry looks forward to signing the Memorandum of Understanding with Nigerian Breweries on the Maltina teacher of the year initiative.