Meadow Hall Foundation (MHF), a non-governmental organisation, which partners with individuals, public and private organisations to implement sustainable initiatives, projects and programmes that support teachers, students, schools, and communities, has rewarded three school leaders and three teachers who have been sources of inspiration to students during the third edition of its Inspirational Educator Awards (INSEA) and Education Convention that was held on Saturday, May 04, 2019 at the Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos with the theme Accelerating National Development through Education.
The INSEA is a merit-based annual award aimed at elevating the teaching profession and motivating teachers and school leaders to continue to strive for excellence in their profession. The award is open to teachers in Nigeria who teach in public or private schools (primary or secondary) and participation is free. The award is in two categories: The Inspirational School Leader of the Year Award and The Inspirational Teacher of the Year Award. The winners of these prestigious awards were selected based on pre-defined criteria and were rewarded for their commitment and passion.
According to Mr. Omotola Oni, head of Meadow Hall Foundation, “in selecting the INSEA winners, the Meadow Hall Foundation put out a call for nominations for the Teacher of the Year and School Leader of the Year categories; nominees filled out a comprehensive form, detailing their qualifications, experience, inspirational stories, and personal initiatives carried out that stands them apart; the shortlisted candidates from this stage were invited for an interview with carefully selected judges across various industries in order to determine the winners and runners-up”. Six inspirational educators emerged from the INSEA 2019.
Cash awards were presented to the six winners as follows: N1,250,000 to Mrs. Akinbami Modupe Adebola as the winner of the Inspirational School Leader of the year; N1,250,000 to Mrs. Charity Tony-Ubah also as the winner of the Inspirational School Leader of the year; N500,000 to Mr. Tajudeen Ayofe Amusan as the runner-up of the Inspirational School Leader of the year; N850,000 to Mr. Soji Megbowon as the winners of the Inspirational Teacher of the year; N850,000 to Mr. Lanre Abolaji Oguntoye also as the winner of the Inspirational Teacher of the year; and N500,000 to Mr. Olusegun Michael Adeniyi as the runner-up of the Inspirational Teacher of the year.
Mrs. Kehinde Nwani, CEO/founder Meadow Hall Group and founder, Meadow Hall Foundation, said “the vision of MHF is to improve the educational outcomes of the Nigerian Child through enhancing teaching quality, changing mindsets about teaching and advocating for the teaching profession”. According to her, Meadow Hall Foundation has rewarded 13 inspirational teachers and school leaders with the sum of thirteen million naira from 2017 till date through the Inspirational Educator Awards (INSEA).
In her welcome address at the Education Convention, Mrs. Nwani said, “In today’s knowledge-driven economy, education plays a pivotal role in national development. Substantial investment in human capital is a key component of socioeconomic development. Education enriches people’s understanding of themselves and world. It improves the quality of their lives and leads to broad social benefits to individuals and society. Education raises people’s productivity and creativity and promotes entrepreneurship and technological advances. In addition, it plays a very crucial role in securing economic and social progress and improving income distribution. Studies show that no country has achieved constant economic development without considerable investment in human capital”.
Speaking at the Education Convention, the keynote speaker, Prof. Josiah O. Ajiboye, Registrar/Chief Executive, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Ajuba said “I am very glad Meadow Hall is also involved in education. It is very clear to me that Government alone cannot fund education. Private participation in education; it is real and it has come to stay. The only thing you need is the rules and regulations to guide private participation”. He explained further that Education is an accepted veritable instrument for national development. Hence the saying that, “no society can develop beyond its educational system”. It is the product of education that transforms the society. Prof. Ajiboye said that the level of investment in education determines the quality of gross national product of a country. He compared Finland, Malaysia, Botswana and Nigeria, which Nigeria was ranked lowest in terms of investment in education.
According to Prof. Ajiboye, “the quality of a nation depends upon the quality of its citizens, the quality of its citizens depends not exclusively but in a crucial measure upon the quality of education and the quality of education depends more than upon any single factor upon the quality of their teachers and the quality of the teacher depends mainly upon the quality of policy thrust guiding the operations of the teacher which is provided by professional regulatory authority such as TRCN controlling and providing benchmarks for standard of operations. It is in this context that National development all over the world is viewed from the lens of education which is pivoted by accurate policy provided by professional authority in the field”.
Meadow Hall Foundation’s Education Convention provides an opportunity for teachers, school leaders, school owners, parents, government officials, policy-makers and other stakeholders to gain fresh perspectives on pertinent educational issues from their interactions with teachers and educational experts.