It was a rising wave of emotion, gratitude and excitement recently, as Roseline Nkemdilim Obi, winner of the maiden edition of Maltina Teacher of the Year was celebrated, as Nigerian Breweries Plc donated a block of staff quarters to the Federal Government Girl College, Onitsha, in honour of Obi, who teaches Mathematics and Chemistry at the school.
Days after the Minister of Education, Professor Anthony Anwukah, led other important dignitaries to commission the staff quarters in a grand ceremony at the school located on the outskirt of Onitsha, in Anambra North Local Council of the state, the excitement and the emotion of the event still reverberates around the area.
Obi, who beat nine other finalists to the coveted prize last year, also got a N1million cash prize plus another one million Naira to be paid to her annually for five years. The building of the quarters in her school was part of the prize for emerging as the 2015 Maltina Teacher of the Year.
The emotional teacher described the day as her day of success and an end to her wilderness journey of 14 years. She revealed that the award has opened a lot of doors for her and that she had resisted several attempts by many corporate organizations to pull her out of the teaching profession.
She praised Nigerian Breweries for the gesture, adding that it takes a greater sacrifice on the part of the company to appreciate the great sacrifice and contribution of teachers to the development of the nation.
On her part, the principal of the school, Mrs. Margaret Enonuya, expressed great appreciation and thanked the company for what she described as an unparalleled support for the cause of education in the country.
“Rarely indeed has any Secondary School in Nigeria been so honoured as today to be awarded the gift of a twin three-bedroom bungalow for producing a national icon, the Maltina Teacher of the Year by Nigerian Breweries Plc. We feel proud of what Nigerian Breweries-Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund has done,” she said.
Chief Chukwuemeka Oseneman, who represented the Obi of Onitsha at the event, gave kudos to the winner for adding another feather to the cap of Onitsha and Anambra State. She also praised the company for counting Onitsha worth of the initiative.
Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries, Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde, who was represented on the occasion by Mr. Kufre Ekanem, the Corporate Affairs Adviser, explained that the idea of the school-based project was to ensure that when a teacher won, the community where he/she teaches also wins.
“In 1994, our company decided to take a more active role in its commitment to the development of education in Nigeria when it established the Nigerian Breweries-Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund with a take-off value of N100 million. Since then, the fund has impacted over 20, 000 students across Nigeria,” he said.
Students of the staged various cultural shows in appreciation of the gesture, while parents and teachers also thumbed up NBL for the initiative, which they described as a pacesetter.