Miss Alexandra Nwigwe of Vivian Fowler Memorial College Lagos emerged as the overall winner for the Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition for Secondary School students for the year 2017. Nwigwe scored 90% in the first round of the competition and 80% in the second round of the competition to come first. The second position goes to Miss Jesudunta Mercy Ipinmoye of Corona Secondary School Agbara. She scored 80% in the first round and 72% in the second round to come second. While, Master Akingbade Gbenga of Emerald High School Lagos came third. He scored 80% in the first round and 70% in the second round. Other winners include, Chinedu Chimezie of Cedar Collage, Ipaja, Adedeji Aderemi of Grange School, G.R.A Ikeja, Atoyebi Israel of Kings College, Lagos, Olalere Victor of Deeper Life High School, Akure, Okadigbo Juliet of State Senior Grammar School, Surulere and Kolawole Oladunni of Reagan Memorial Babtist Girls Secondary School, Yaba
According to the Chief Examiner, Professor Hope Eghagha, Head, Department of English University of Lagos, Akoka, the Mike Okonkwo Essay Competition for Secondary School student “received a total of seven hundred and ninety six (796) entries. This is after the organizers used their internal control mechanism to ensure that only qualified persons applied or submitted entries”. He further stated that “After applying standard criteria in the assessment, we concluded that 27 entries were not original; in other words, they were plagiarized. This was after cross-checking each entry carefully with internet sources to determine their originality. This is one of the problems confronting us in the education sector currently. Some students simply download material from the internet and submit same as their original work”
According to the Chief examiner, Prof. Hope Eghagha “after the first round of assessment in which we judged mechanical accuracy, the use of language, originality of thought, and thematic focus, ten (10) participants were selected and eventually invited for the second stage of the competition. He disclosed that, the second stage is mainly a confirmatory procedure, meant to ensure that the first stage winners are indeed the authentic writers of the shortlisted essays.” Based on the above, Prof. Hope mentioned that “The candidates came from different parts of the country such as Lagos, Enugu, Akure, Ilorin, Kano and Owerri. They did a one hour test on the topic: “Religion and National Development” or “Does Religion Aid National Development? The final result of the test validated our scoring and ranking of the participants in the first stage.”
For coming top in this year’s competition, Miss Alexandra Nwigwe of Vivian Fowler Memorial College Lagos will get a cheque of N100,000, a Laptop, a plaque, while the school gets three sets of Computer and a printer. Miss Jesudunta Mercy Ipinmoye of Corona Secondary School Agbara who came second will go home with a cheque of N75,000, a plaque and the school will get two sets of computer and a printer. For emerging the third position in this year’s competition, Master Akingbade Gbenga of Emerald High School Lagos will go home with a cheque of N50,000, a plaque and the school gets a Computer set. The other winners will get a consolation price of N20,000 each. The prices for the winners of the 14th Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition for Secondary Schools in the country will be presented at this year’s Mike Okonkwo Annual Lecture, at the Shell Hall Muson Center, Onikan, Lagos, on Tuesday September 5, 2017.
The theme for this year’s lecture is “Made in Nigeria Products: The Vehicle for Sustainable Development” Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition was initiated in the year 2004, as part of activities to celebrate the Birthday of the Presiding Bishop of TREM, Dr. Mike Okonkwo (MFR) and more importantly to contribute to the development of the Educational Sector. Dr. Mike Okonkwo, has continued in this gesture for 14 years, using his God given talent, strength and resources to be a blessing to the younger generation in the pursuit of academic excellence by encouraging them to cultivate the habit of reading and writing effectively. This man of God, who believes in absolute development of mankind in all facet of life, has used the institutionalization of Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition to achieve this dream and desire.
The essay competition program has helped some students that participated in the program to develop more interest in research work, reading extensively and writing constructively. Apart from serving as a tool to encourage reading and writing, the competition has also given the students the opportunity to bare their minds on topical issues that are of significant importance to the social-economic development of our nation. The essay competition has also contributed towards ICT development in the secondary schools especially in government owned schools. Winners have emerged from both governments owned schools and private schools and they have always been encouraged with gifts both in kind and cash. The Chief Sponsor and visionary of the program is Dr. Mike Okonkwo, is confident of the fact that Nigerian youths can compete favourably with their counterpart in developed nation if given the opportunity and are well motivated.