From an obscure Parent Teacher Association, PTA teacher on a N17, 000 monthly salary, Mrs. Rose Nkemdilim Obi, the 2015 Maltina Teacher of the Year, has revealed that the award has turned her life round for good.
Mrs. Obi, a Mathematics and Chemistry teacher at Federal Government Girls Secondary School, Onitsha, Anambra State explained that the award has elevated her to the level of a celebrity. "I never knew it would happen that way but the interesting part of it is the opportunities and the doors it has opened for me. I also have the chance to interact with my fellow teachers, organize workshop and being called to address large gathering in other to tell teachers what am doing, in terms of classroom management and teaching methodology," she said.
Assessing the impact of the award one year after, Obi, a master’s degree holder, whose mum was also a teacher said: “I have succeeded in shifting from a traditional method of teaching to a discussion-based methodology. The strategy brings about a synergy between what happens in the classroom and what happensinreal life. It brings out analytical skills from students.
"I am following my mum’s footsteps; my mum was a teacher, and I also have passion to bring out the best from students. Give them the best training and get them prepared to enter the workforce of the country. Secondary education is very important in career development, thus my resolve to give the best to students," she said.
Obi who started as a PTA teacher, disclosed that the remuneration was so poor compared to the effort that she put in, and maintained it was not the money but her passion for the job.
"It was the passion that kept me. You can see where it led me. The scope of the job for permanent and PTA teachers are the same. But when it came to salaries, the PTA remuneration was very poor.
Mr. Gozie Obi, her lawyer husband, could barely contain his joy when his wife was announced winner of the Maltina Teacher of the Year award in a colourful ceremony held at the grand ballroom of the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island on Monday, 12th October 2015.
His 37-year old wife, whom he described as a combination of beauty and brains, was rewarded with N5 million for emerging the best among 19 finalists unveiled during the ceremony. She would receive the award in tranches of N1million on World Teachers Day each year for five years.
"I thank Nigerian Breweries for this mind blowing opportunity given to teachers. The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) cannot thank you enough for what you have done," Obi added.
This year’s edition of the Maltina Teacher of-the Year initiative was opened on Wednesday, 27th April, 2016 and the scope wasextended to include privately owned secondary schools.
The initiative with prizes worth N50 million annually, is to reward commitment and diligence to duty by exceptional teachers across the country. It is done on the platform of NB/Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust.
KufreEkanem, the company’s Corporate Affairs Adviser explained that the quality of the 2015 winner gave the organizers enough impetus to believe that teachers in the nation’s public schools can match their counterparts in the private schools. "Mrs. Rose Nkemdilim Obi, the 2015 winner turned out to be a good testimony." he said.
Ekanem added that collection of applications will last till 30th June 2016 and advised interested teachers to download application forms from the Maltina website -www.maltina-nigeria.com. Applications forms should be completed and uploaded to the website or sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to P.M.B. 12632, Marina, Lagos.