Miss Alexandra Nwigwe of Vivian Fowler Memorial College Lagos who emerged overall winner of the Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition for Secondary School students for the year 2017 and eight others were rewarded at the Mike Okonkwo Annual lecture held in Lagos on Tuesday.
For coming top in this year’s competition, Miss Nwigwe received a cheque of N100,000, a Laptop and a plaque, while her school also received three sets of computer and a printer.
Miss Jesudunta Mercy Ipinmoye of Corona Secondary School Agbara who came second went home with a cheque of N75,000, a plaque and her school got two sets of computer and a printer.
For emerging the third position in this year’s competition, Master Akingbade Gbenga of Emerald High School Lagos went home with a cheque of N50,000, a plaque while his school got a computer set.
Other winners include, Chinedu Chimezie of Cedar College, Ipaja, Adedeji Aderemi of Grange School, G.R.A Ikeja, Atoyebi Israel of Kings College, Lagos, Olalere Victor of Deeper Life High School, Akure, Okadigbo Juliet of State Senior Grammar School, Surulere and Kolawole Oladunni of Reagan Memorial Babtist Girls Secondary School, Yaba They all got a consolation price of N20,000 each.
Speaking at the prize presentation, the Chief Examiner and Head, Department of English, University of Lagos, Prof. Hope Eghagha disclosed that after applying standard criteria in the assessment, “27 entries were not original, in other words they were plagiarized.”
He said this is one of the problems confronting the education sector in the country currently. “Some students simply download material from the internet and submit same as their original work.”
He therefore urged parents to always encourage their children to do their home work themselves rather than helping them because this encourage cheating which is the main problem of the nation’s education sector.
He also advised teachers in the country to teach students about their environment as this will go along way in helping them when writing on any topic.
Congratulating the overall winner, the professor disclosed that she demonstrates a high level of intelligence with good command of English Language. “She should be encouraged to develop her writing skills and perhaps make career out of writing.”
Also speaking at the occassion which was also to mark his 72nd birthday, the presiding Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission, TREM, Dr. Mike Okonkwo urged students to develop themselves academically instead of waiting to be spoon fed.
He advised parents to help in developing their children through positive mentorship.
Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition was initiated in the year 2004, as part of activities to celebrate the Birthday of the Presiding Bishop of TREM, Dr. Mike Okonkwo and more importantly to contribute to the development of the Educational Sector.
The essay competition has helped some students that participated in the programme to develop more interest in research work, reading extensively and writing constructively. Apart from serving as a tool to encourage reading and writing, the competition has also given the students the opportunity to bare their minds on topical issues that are of significant importance to the social-economic development of the nation.
The essay competition has also contributed towards ICT development in the secondary schools especially in government owned schools. Winners have emerged from both governments-owned schools and private schools.