Inoyo Toro Foundation calls for more investments in education
…As Teachers Recount Supports Received from Foundation
In the spirit of the World Teachers’ Day celebration globally today, Inoyo Toro Foundation has paid glowing tributes to millions of teachers across the world.
In a statement issued on October 5, 2021, the Foundation acknowledged that teachers have not been celebrated as much as they deserved , noting that a day like the World Teachers’ Day should remind everyone of the sacrifices teachers have made and spur everyone to encourage teachers the more.
“On World Teachers’ Day, we pay tribute to the millions of teachers around the world and in Akwa Ibom who are working with passion and skill to nurture students and whose influence in our world is potentially profound. “Too often though, teachers have not been given the recognition and support they deserve. World Teachers’ Day should remind us of the heavy responsibilities of teachers as well as the numerous challenges they face. One of the priorities of our Foundation is to encourage the training of more teachers. Our Foundation also strives to ensure that teachers are well prepared and well supported.”
Acknowledging that no education system is better than the quality of its teachers, the Foundation encouraged government at all levels, corporate organizations, private concerns and well-meaning individuals to offer more encouragements to teachers and invest more in education, to better the fortunes of the Nigerian society.
Mr. Mfonobong Umo, a teacher at Etinan Institute, Etinan, who in five different years, has received teachers awards and prizes in Chemistry and a grand mentor award from Inoyo Toro Foundation, spoke on what encouragements could do to teachers.
“Apart from having the plaque in the house to show that I have achieved something as a teacher, the recognition, awards and cash prizes I have received from the Foundation for five years have really spurred me up in my teaching. I’m telling you the truth, I now read very hard to make sure I impart in my students the more.”
On her part, Mrs. Caroline Asuquo, a one-time awardee in English Language, who teaches at Community Secondary Grammar School, Ikot Ekpene, noted:
“Inoyo Toro Foundation has impacted my professional life. It has impacted my personal life. It has made me a more committed teacher, a more deliberate and intentional teacher. It has made me to become passionate in my work as a teacher. I see myself putting more, because I know somehow, someone has been able to say, Thank You for doing this.”
Teachers Mfonobong Umo and Aniekan Okpo are just two of the 238 public secondary school teachers including 3 principals in Akwa Ibom State who have received Inoyo Toro Foundation’s Excellence Awards and Prizes in the last fourteen years, with some teachers receiving in multiple years. The cash prizes ranges from N100,000 to N500,000.
Speaking on the motivation behind the establishment of Inoyo Toro Foundation in 2007, the Secretary of the Board, Dr. George Akpan said:
“The thinking was that if we established a credible platform, we can collaborate with government to enhance the quality of education in Akwa Ibom State. Again, before then, there were no credible platforms with structures where well-meaning individuals can support education. But the story is different today. The third reason, teachers were not sufficiently recognized and rewarded. We believed we could encourage them, to motivate them to do more.”
The Program Administrator, Inoyo Toro Foundation, Mrs. Imo Ekong Bassey, spoke more on the contributions of Inoyo Toro Foundation to Akwa Ibom State, within and outside the education space.
“Inoyo Toro Foundation, till date, has invested over N400 Million in programs targeted at improving the quality of education in Akwa Ibom State. In 2013 and 2015, the Foundation partnered Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited to sponsor massive sensitization awareness through inter-schools’ quiz competition, to commemorate World Malaria Day.
“In 2011, the Foundation in partnership with Keystone Bank, set up and equipped four ICT centres in the three Senatorial Districts of Akwa Ibom State and employed facilitators to take students through. Cornelia College, Uyo; Independent High School, Ukana East, Essien Udim; Methodist Boys High School, Oron; and Salvation Army Secondary School, Akai Ubium were benefiting schools.
“While in 2017, The Foundation partnered with Seven Energy to establish Safety and Environment Awareness Programs in five secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State; in 2020, the Foundation partnered with Royal Arts Academy to kick-off the first film monotechnic in Akwa Ibom State by offering full scholarship to all the 33 pioneer students of the Academy.
“In the wake of COVID 19 pandemic, Inoyo Toro Foundation partnered Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, to donate a PCR machine to support efforts of the Akwa Ibom State Government in handling the pandemic”
The immediate past Commissioner for Health who now is the Honorary Special Adviser to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Health Matters, Dr. Dominic Ukpong, had corroborated that, in a recent interview, when he said that “the PCR machine donated to Akwa Ibom State by Inoyo Toro Foundation and Stanbic IBTC Bank has been saving the lives of lots of Akwa Ibom people and is the reason Akwa Ibom State Government is the only Government in Nigeria today that is running two functional PCR facilities”.