Because teachers in Africa are rarely ever honored. They work under deprecating conditions: are owed salaries, lack training, are disrespected, and their schools lack even basic infrastructure; but against all odds, continue to produce gold with bare knuckles.

The Salu Oniha Okonofua Foundation, a non-governmental organization that is focused on improving education access and outcomes for communities in Africa, has honored deserving teachers in Edo State, Nigeria, with monetary awards. At its annual celebration of the legacy of the late High Chief (Dr.) Salu Oniha Okonofua (JP) in Benin City on 10 September, the foundation recognized the dedication, commitment, and creativity of 64 teachers, who were selected from across the state.

According to Sunday Ojo, the Director of Operations of the foundation, the annual Teacher Awards is both a celebration of hard work and an opportunity to identify outstanding talent and to encourage teachers to aspire to higher teaching standards in the state.

The event was attended by important stakeholders including the Iyase of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe, the Okogie of Ewu Kingdom, HRH Abdulmalik Isesele Ojiefo II, high chiefs of Ewu Kingdom, the commissioner of Education, Mr. Jimoh Ijegbai, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, and representatives of other ministries and business communities.

During the event, twenty two teachers won awards in each of the twenty two categories, including Osarugiagbon Isopkan, a primary school Mathematics teacher, who won the overall best teacher’s N500,000 star prize. Each award winner received N100,000 and the runners up in each category also received cash prizes.


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