Being Text of a Speech Presented by Andy Akhigbe, Chairman, Netsocial Limited at The Prize Award Event of the 2017 Naija English Championship Held at Holy Child College, Ikoyi, on Tuesday, March 6, 2018.
Let me start by thanking everyone who made it here today. On behalf of the organizers of the Naija English Championship, we are indeed delighted to be hosting the first Prize Award Event in the online assessment of English Language.
I have two stories to share to encourage all of us to take a more active role in the teaching of our 19 future leaders and Champions we are celebrating today and those we would celebrate tomorrow.
ONLY THOSE WHO SHOW UP WIN
I had visited most schools that got invited to participate in this championship. In one particular school I visited, I dropped a cover letter and about 20 posters in the Principal’s office. I got no response from the school. However, on the day of the assessment, a student from that school showed up for the assessment and l discovered that the student had not been registered because of the invitation I sent to the school. The student had been registered by his father. This student had emerged today with the overall best result of the championship and has won prizes not only for himself, but also for his school, his principal and his teacher. This is quite instructive.
The second story involves our sending out emails to over 200 schools, teachers and Principals immediately we discovered that our numbers weren’t looking good as the assessment day drew nearer. We got a few responses, but one stood out. The Administrator of a school called us almost within an hour our email went out and scheduled a meeting with us. In that meeting, she assured us of her school’s maximum participation and also invited us to explore the possibility of conducting two mock assessments in Mathematics and English for the SS3 students of the school. From just this School Administrator alone, we assessed 156 students from her school. We are also honouring her today and this is also instructive.
We are celebrating these two personalities today because they both showed up. The father who knew the son’s school may be too busy to pass the information about the Championship to the students and the Administrator who saw a need to engage with us. The father who registered his son and the Administrator who engaged us both showed up and we are all the better for it today – the Championship has became a huge success and we have identified a diamond in the rough (a genius) in our midst today. To these two, we say, thank You. To all those who participated, you also showed up and to you we say, thank you. Without you all who showed up, we would never have recorded the huge success we have achieved today.
This championship is not only for those who are smart. It’s a platform we have designed to enable students learn on their own, reinforce their learning through rigorous testing and ultimately get rewarded for engaging with the learning of Mathematics and English Language.
As we close the 2017 Naija English Championship, we are opening the 2018 Naija Mathematics Championship and it is my appeal that we ensure that every student – whether smart or dull – is encouraged to apply and go through the three stages of PRACTICE, TEST and REWARD. This year, the Naija Mathematics Championship will be extended to students from all the South West geopolitical region of Nigeria – Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti and Osun.
In closing, I want to express my utmost gratitude to all our partners – Dragnet Solutions Limited and the English Language Teachers Association of Nigeria. And for all the schools here represented, I make this appeal. As you go back, remember that this Championship holds a bright future to change the fortunes of students, teachers, principals and school administrators. It’s our duty to ensure that every student participates every year because the reward we all can get from this Championships far outweighs whatsoever we may put into it. When the numbers of registered students is high, you can trust us to surprise everyone when next we gather like this again to celebrate all our Champions because with our Model everyone is indeed a Champion.
Thank you and God bless you all for coming.