The ceremony to mark the 12th anniversary of the Inoyo Toro Foundation was held on the 8th of November 2019. The event started at 9am with the award ceremonies- a sharp departure in the program schedule, which usually begins with the mentoring session for invited students from public secondary schools.
The award ceremony was preceded by a welcome address by Dr. Enobong Joshua, who is the Chairman of the Foundation’s Screening Committee. The screening committee chair used the opportunity to reiterate the fact that the Foundation has used the past 12 years striving to complement the effort of the Government of Akwa Ibom State in proffering solutions that would galvanize the education sector for greater productivity. Dr. Joshua touched on the motivation of teachers as being the key to overall students’ achievements. These motivations include training and financial rewards for excellence, a corner stone of the Foundation’s initiatives in the past 12 years. He stated that the 2019 awards covered the subject areas of Mathematics, English language, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. To emerge winner a teacher had to score at least 70%, 60% and 50% to place 1st, 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Following this formulae there was no 1st place winner for the mathematics subject area in 2019.
Mr Moses Ekpo, Akwa Ibom State governor, stood in for the State Governor at the event. In his speech, the Governor thanked Mr. Udom Inoyo and his wife Ntekpe, for spearheading this cause in continually rewarding and motivating teachers. He commended the Foundation’s zeal and passion and affirmed government’s willingness to work with it in order to enable our students prepare for the complexities of a globalised world where competition is fierce and technology drives progress.
Mr. Aniekan Ukpanah, Managing Partner of the Law Firm of Udo Udoma and Belo Osagie was Chairman on the occasion. In his speech, he stated his long standing interest in the ideals and progress of Foundation. He recalled years past when students had to burn the midnight candle in preparation for examinations and urged them to be committed to their studies. He also had a word of advice for teachers, urging them to take responsibility in guiding their students. He applauded the teachers and principal who were awarded and called on politicians to join hands in advancing the cause of education.
The Commissioner for Education, Prof. Nse Essien was in attendance at the event. In his remarks, he stated the focus of the state government in developing Technical Education Training (TET), science education and infusion of digital technologies and skills into the education system. This, he said, will produce the next generation of skilled workforce and entrepreneurs to cater for the state’s budding industrial revolution. He also impressed on the State Government’s readiness to partner with like-minded NGOs like the Inoyo Toro Foundation to improve the quality of education in Akwa Ibom State.
The year’s guest speaker’s speech was phenomenal. It was delivered by Mrs. Ini Abimbola. She used the speech to challenge the students and teachers to work hard and be proud of their roots. She took the audience through her life’s story which was essentially a classic instance of having risen from grass to grace. She had a word of advice for government and successful individuals, urging them to encourage the development of the youth and the projection of the Akwa Ibom brand.
A total of 23 teachers received awards at the event. One school principal, who had excelled in pushing the academic advancement of her Institution, was also recognised. A total of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira Only) was disbursed on the occasion in order to encourage teachers and incentivize them to give in more to their chosen profession.
The mentoring clinic between the mentors and their students kicked off as soon as the awards were completed. The students were charged by their mentors to keep working hard and strive to be all they desired to be in life as excellence proceeds from a place of diligence.
On the whole, the event to mark the Foundation’s 12th anniversary was a huge success. The Foundation looks forward to hosting its students, mentors, sponsors and guests to its 13th anniversary event which is billed to take place on Friday, November 6, 2020.