In the appreciation of the good gesture of the Nigerian Breweries Plc to reward outstanding teachers in the country, the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has decided to adopt the company’s ‘malt drink’ Maltina as its official drink.
The Acting Deputy General Secretary of the Union, Mr. Wole Oyeniyi made the disclosure during a Press Conference to flag off the Maltina Teacher of the Year Award, an initiative of Nigerian Breweries-Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund to reward outstanding teachers in Nigeria held in Lagos recently.
The adoption of the Maltina premium brand of Nigerian Breweries Plc as the official drink of teachers in Nigeria came up as the Nigerian Breweries instituted a Maltina Teacher-ofthe- Year Award initiative worth N50 million annually. The annual teachers’ award which is in its first edition was designed to reward committed teachers who had posted outstanding performances in the teaching profession across the country.
The award which is done on the platform of Maltina brand of the Nigerian Breweries-Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund for the purpose of restoring the pride of teachers and the dignity of the teaching profession in the country. Making the declaration on behalf of the body of teachers in Nigeria, Oyeniyi who commended Nigerian Breweries Plc and the ‘project drivers’, the Nigerian Breweries-Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund stated that “Maltina has taken the lead in bringing back the lost glory of the teaching profession in the country.
“This is the first time that an organisation is putting up a project of this magnitude for teachers in Nigeria. We really appreciate you and the contributions your organisation are making towards the improvement of education sector in the country. We want to appreciate and commend your efforts. We want you to know that with this gesture of yours, Nigerian Union of Teachers has decided to make Maltina our official drink from now.
At every ceremony, every event, even in our homes, Maltina will be our official and preferred drink,” he said. Oyeniyi who changed his remark to commendation speech said that the Nigerian Breweries-Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund which is sponsoring the project on the platform of Nigerian Breweries Plc.’ premium drink , Maltina’ by the initiative will be putting smiles on the faces of Nigerian teachers.
“Now, we know that there are people out there that still appreciate and are willing to encourage teachers. I will implore other corporate organizations in the country to follow your lead. We need more of initiatives like this to keep inspiring teachers to do more” he said. According to Oyeniyi, there is no profession that builds a nation than teaching profession, stressing that no nation can grow without teachers.
He regrettable said that over the years, nobody had said good things about teachers in the country, even the parents, adding that with the initiative of Nigerian Breweries Maltina teacher’s award, Nigerian teachers will be inspired to do better. Oyeniyi, assured that the union would mobilize all chapters in the country to encourage members to participate fully in the exercise. Earlier, during the press briefing to announce the flag off entries for the Maltina Teacher-of-the-Year Award, the Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc. Mr. Kufre Ekanem, said that the Maltina Teacher of the Year initiative was designed to recognise, celebrate and motivate teachers in Nigeria.
According to him, the first edition of the programme will focus on teachers in public secondary Schools across the country. “Everywhere in the world, Teachers play a vital role in training, coaching and determining the quality of education and this is critical to sustainable national development.
However, these moulders of the society seldom get the recognition they deserve. To kick-start a remedy of this situation, the Maltina Teacher of the Year initiative aims to recognise and celebrate our exceptional teachers around the country. As it is widely said, the children are the future of the nation and whatever you do for a child ultimately impacts on the nation.
Our objective is to create an avenue where exceptional teachers will be showcased and rewarded annually and continuously,” he said. He urged interested teachers who believed they have impacted well on the society to apply for the awards across the country. According to him, “Collection of applications will open today, 20th May 2015 and last till 30th June 2015 and interested teachers are expected to download application forms from the Maltina website -www.maltina-nigeria. com.
He said applications forms should be completed and uploaded to the website or sent by post to P.M.B. 12632, Marina, Lagos. “All applications shall be subjected to an intense selection and judging process. An external and independent panel of judges has been constituted to ensure transparency, credibility and objectivity of the initiative. However, the identity of the panel members will remain secret until their task is completed. The 5 – step evaluation process of the entries received will result in 37 champions one per state and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
From amongst these States Champions, the Maltina Teacher of the Year will emerge. All State Champions and National Winners will be celebrated in a grand ceremony on October 5, 2015 in commemoration of World Teachers Day. “We hope that through this initiative, we can inspire this nation to accord our teachers their deserved credit and bring back respect to the teaching profession in Nigeria” Kufre said. He also said that the purpose of the award was to create an avenue where exceptional teachers will be showcased and rewarded annually and continuously.
Fielding questions from journalists, Kufre said that competition will produce a champion from each of the state of federation and the federal capital territory and each state winner will smile home with N500, 000. “ From among the 36 winners from the federation ,national winners will emerge .
The overall winner will simile home with one million naira and will receive the one million every year in the next five years ,which she / he will collect at the end of five years. In addition to the money, a classroom block will be built in the school where the best national winner comes from. The second runner up will smile home with N750.000, while the first runner will get N1million “he added.
He also said that the overall winner will be sent to oversee training on the expenses of the Nigerian Breweries Plc. He also disclosed that, the overall best winner will only get the first one million on spot while the other five million will be collected after five years, and added that this was made so to encourage winners to stay in the profession.
When asked if somebody who wins but has about one or two years to retired, if the person will still get one million yearly for five years, he said that since the person applied and won ,he will get the five million ‘ one million will be credited to the person account every teachers day in October 5 for five years’ . On why competition is only opened to public schools, he said the organization chose public schools because the private schools already have their incentives, saying that it was the advice from the Federal Ministry of Education. “We chose public schools because private schools already have little incentives .This is advice from the Federal Ministry of Education .
We are starting with the secondary schools because it is the critical stage of the nation education “he said. Also speaking during the occasion, Mr. Victor Famuyibo, the company’s Human Resources Director described teachers as builders of the wealth of nations who deserved to be recognized, encouraged and celebrated. “Everywhere in the world, teachers play a vital role in training, coaching and determining the quality of education and this is critical to sustainable national development” he added.
The Consultant to the Nigerian Breweries Plc, Prof. Uchenna Udeani of the Department of Science & Technology Education, Faculty of Education, University of Lagos said that over her three decades of training teachers, she has not seen teachers being celebrated the way Nigerian Breweries does. According to her, she is happy that an organization is recognizing the efforts of teachers, saying that the recognition was a great honour to teachers.