Winners of this year’s 14th edition of the Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition for Secondary School students, who emerged last week, are to receive N230,000 cash, and other prizes. In the results announced by the organisers of the yearly competition, Alexandra Nwigwe, a student of Vivian Fowler Memorial College, Lagos, led the pack having scored 90 per cent in the first round of the competition, and 80 per cent in the second round to come first in overall.
Meanwhile, Jesudunta Mercy Ipinmoye, a student of Corona Secondary School, Agbara in Ogun State, came second with a score of 80 per cent in the first round and 72 per cent in the second round, while Akingbade Gbenga, the only male and student of Emerald High School, Lagos came third scoring 80 per cent in the first round and 70 per cent in the second round.
Other winners in the competition are, Chinedu Chimezie of Cedar Collage, Ipaja, Lagos; 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, Lagos and Kolawole Oladunni of Reagan Memorial Baptist Girls’ Secondary School, Yaba, Lagos.
According to the Group Manager, Operation, TREM International, Reverend Oluwayomi Uteh, the topic for this year’s essay competition is: “Religion and National Development” or “Does Religion Aid National Development?” For leading the pack in this year’s competition, Nwigwe will get a cheque of N100,000, a laptop, a plaque, while the school gets three sets of computer and a printer. While Ipinmoye, 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.
And, for emerging in the third position in the competition, Akingbade will smile home with a cheque of N50,000, a plaque and the school gets a computer set; while the other winners will receive a consolation price of N20,000 each. The prizes for the winners of the 14th Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition for Secondary Schools is expected to be presented at this year’s Mike Okonkwo Annual Lecture, billed for the Shell Hall Muson Center, Onikan, Lagos on September 5.
The theme for this year’s lecture is: “Made in Nigeria Products: The Vehicle for Sustainable Development.” According to the Chief Examiner and Head of Department of English at the University of Lagos, Prof. Hope Eghagha, this edition of the competition “received a total of 796 entries, and the internal control mechanism was used to determine that only qualified students applied or submitted entries.”
He further added: “After applying the standard criteria in the assessment profile, we concluded that 27 entries were not original and in other words, they were plagiarised. 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.”