Lagos State government traditional of One-Day-Governor continued with 16-year-old Idowu Sonoiki
Sixteen-year old Master Idowu Sonoiki of Ikotun Senior High School, Ikotun in the Igando-Ikotun local council development area of Lagos State has emerged as One Day Governor of the State for 2015, having won the 2015 Spelling Bee Competition in the Secondary School Category.
The Ogun State indigene, Master Idowu who is a Senior Secondary School One (SSS1) student beat 15-year-old Master Faaizi Abdullaidi of Omole Senior High School, Ojodu and 14-year-old Master Fehinti Dahunsi of Lagos State Senior Model College, Kankon to the second and third positions respectively to emerge the overall best.
According to the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, students in the state have taken full advantage of the opportunity provided by the Competition to excel not only in the Competition but also in their studies as evidenced in the marked improvement in academic performance.
“It is heartwarming to note that the goals of the Competition have been achieved as evidenced in the performances of our students at various external exanimations. Again, I am gladdened by the fact that many of the past winners of the Competition are now successful men and women in their chosen and enviable careers such as Medicine, Engineering and Law among others” she added.
Oladunjoye expressed pleasure at the strong awareness the Spelling Bee Competition has generated among students and pupils at all levels in the State, stressing that past winners of the Competition have continued to sustain the tradition of excellence that the Competition is known for.
According to her, the overall goals of the Competition was to help students improve their spelling skills; increase their vocabulary and develop correct English usage; create good reading habits that would lead them to better academic performance, and boost their confidence with a view to preparing them for future endeavours.
In her address of welcome, the Director-General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Mrs. Ronke Soyombo said that the Spelling Bee competition was important because it raises the profile of reading culture among students.
“Learning spelling words is not important to a child’s future but helps to lay the basic foundation that every student will need throughout their educational life” she said.
The Director-General noted that the Office of Education Quality Assurance was not unmindful of its responsibility of ensuring that quality and high standard are attain in Schools, saying that the Office has held a workshop for all stakeholders in both the private and public sector for the review of instruments and the regular monitoring of the quality of teaching/learning and leadership/ management of secondary schools in order to support them to improve learners’ performance especially in external examinations.
According to her, all these efforts would sooner reflect positively in no small way in the students’ performance in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) results among other examinations.
Among the dignitaries who graced the occasion were the representatives of the First Lady of the State, Dame Emmanuella Abimbola Fashola, Mrs. Ladun Ogunbanwo; the Chairman, House Committee on Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Wahab Alawiye-King; the representative of Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Prof. Kolawole Raheem and the Head of Department Devices, Etisalat, Mr. Olayiwola Onafowokan.
Speaking to the news men ,Sonoiki who his inability to spell the word ‘myxomatosis’ last year, sent him out of the competition said this year he was determined to return and win the competition. “I am so excited today. I was 89 per cent prepared. Last year, I was contestant 17 and I lost out when I could not spell ‘myxomatosis.’
“Right from that time, I was determined to return and win. My dad told me to work hard, because being a one-day governor is not a walk in the park.
“I used the encyclopaedia, the Spelling Bee Dictionary and another dictionary in my principal’s office. I was also always on the Internet, searching for words,” he said.
Sonoiki, who lost his mother in 1998 when he was only a few months old, alongside 56 other contestants had a hectic time spelling words such as ‘cami-knickers,’ ‘vicissitude,’ ‘phlegmatic’ and others.
The competition became more nerve-wracking in the final stages when the three finalists had to spell only words of Latin, Greek, Arabic and French origins. They included ‘mycorrhiza,’ ‘coccyx,’ ‘pettifogging,’ ‘jalousie’ and ‘colacobiosis,’ among others.
On what he wants government to do, he urged the state government to rehabilitate the roads leading to his school.
According to him, roads leading to his school in Igando-Ikotun Local Council Development Area were bad, and needed urgent attention.
Sonoiki also pleaded with the government to construct additional classrooms in his school to ensure adequate accommodation for the students.
“As a One-Day Governor, I will change everything that is bad in my state. I want the government to construct more classrooms, build a standard and well-equipped library and provide more furniture in the school’’ he said. He also urged the government to pay more attention to the development of his local government, particularly in the area of infrastructure upgrade.
“Government officials from the state secretariat should visit my school and Igando-Ikotun Local Council Development Area to see things for themselves,”
He was rewarded on the spot with a medal, N250, 000 and a trophy for his effort, the first runner-up got a medal, trophy and N150, 000, while the third runner-up got 100,000.