By Oluchi Chibuzor
A student of Angus Memorial Senior High School, Shomolu, Lagos, Jemimah Marcus, has emerged winner of the 2020 Lagos State Government new era spelling bee competition, sponsored by Indomie Noodles.
The feat has earned her the title of One-day Governor of the state. She also received a cash prize of 250,000.
Ajose Sotun of Topo Senior Grammar School, and Edeh Rhema of Denton Junior Grammar School, Ebute-Metta emerged first and second runners-up respectively, and got cash prizes of N150,000 and 100,000.
For them, government must continue to support educational initiatives in order to make it easier for the less privilege to gain stardom through programmes like this.
“During COVID-19 lockdown, I studied hard using various online platforms available for me and this competition would further help me achieve my dreams in life,” Marcus stated.
Speaking at the occasion, the wife of the state Governor, Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, represented by Mrs. Funso Raji said the annual competition is one of the initiatives of government designed to promote healthy rivalry among learners in public primary and secondary schools in the state.
“Education is one of the key components of the THEMES Agenda of the present administration of Babajide Sanwo-Olu targeted towards engendering a greater Lagos of our dreams. The intention of government is to do its best to secure the future of our children, and this is why the tradition of this annual competition has not only been sustained, but improved upon.
“I must commend you all for making it to the level of participating in the grand finale of this competition which began with the preliminaries in the primary and secondary school categories across the 57 local government areas and local council development areas of the state,” she said.
While urging the students to take their studies seriously, the governor’s wife said, “you must come to terms with the fact that only hard work and diligence can help you rise to the pinnacle of your chosen career. I also would like to commend our teachers for their hard work and for working assiduously to groom students in the state.”
Highlighting the need to embrace diligence in their studies, the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo said records have shown that participants and winners in the past editions have continued to excel and have distinguished themselves in university education, coming out with top grades which have helped to position them for good jobs.
”This is an indication that the quality of teaching and learning taking place in our schools is improving steadily, and that our policies and programmes in the education sector are addressing the purposes for which they were initiated and implemented. I am happy to inform you that despite the various challenges encountered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic this year, many awards and laurels have been won by Lagos State students in various competitions globally.”
In his remarks, the Group Public Relations and Events Manager, Dufil Prima Foods, Mr. Tope Ashiwaju said Indomie had been at the forefront of education in Lagos State, sponsoring competitions to enhance learning outcome for students. “As a brand, Indomie has a keen interest in education development for the Nigerian child and has been unwavering in the support of the spelling bee project in Lagos State for years.
“As a company, we are committed to wholesome child development, and this we will continue to do,”he said, adding that the company will continue to support quality education for the Nigerian child.
On her part, the Director-General, Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA), Mrs. Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, said the competition shows that the state government has kept faith with making the overall winner a one-day governor; awarding scholarships to all winners to study any course of interest in any public university in Nigeria; and sponsoring them and their cabinet members on a cultural exchange programme to Finland, among other benefits.
The competition has so far produced 18 one-day governors in the state.