Anambra State teems with academic high-fliers, literary stars, business moguls, sports icons, musical superstars, political sages, and venerable men of the cloth. The late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, political titan and Pan-Africanist, hailed from Anambra State. Power Mike, a former world wrestling champion; Mary Onyali- Omagbemi, the former African sprints queen of the tracks; Chief Osita Osadebe, high-life music maestro; Chike Obi, a great mathematician; Chinua Achebe, the father of modern African literature; Chief Emeka Anyaoku, the former Commonwealth Secretary general, etc, all hail from the state, whose slogan as well as motto is the ‘Light of the nation’. It is a fitting epithet that captures succinctly Anambra State’s essence.
More so, Governor Willie Obiano is consolidating and improving on the achievements recorded in the educational sector by the immediate past Mr. Peter Obi-led civilian administration. It was he who revamped schools in the state and articulated and executed practical educational polices, which have been yielding positive results for the state. Anambra State has emerged as the best performing state in such examinations as SSCE and NECO for three successive years. And Team Anambra won the national Inter Basic Debate Competition. The laudable and spectacular feat achieved by Team Anambra happened soon after Rose Nkem Obi won the 2015 Maltina Teacher of the Year
By her uncommon accomplishment Rose Nkem Obi has entered the pantheon hall of Anambra State great achievers. A native of Agulu, Anambra State, the lightskinned lady with infectious effervescence and deep scholarly bent was born in 1978. As a precocious and brilliant lass, Rose represented Anaocha LGA in a school competition held at Enugu while a pupil of Practising School, Agulu. And expectedly, she had a credit pass in the First School Leaving Certificate Examination in 1989. She outshone other pupils in that examination.
After completing her primary education, Rose proceeded to Loretto Special Science School, Agulu, for her post-primary education. While a student in the school, Rose was molded by Mrs. Nwachukwu, her school principal; Mr. Chukwuezi, her mathematics teacher; and Mr. Nwajiobi, her Chemistry teacher. They imparted knowledge to her and inculcated the virtues of industry, punctuality, love of books, obedience, and humility into her. While her mathematics teacher would teach them some topics after school hours, her chemistry teacher simplified organic chemistry for them with his effective and unique methodology of teaching.
She attended Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and earned a first degree in Pure and Industrial Chemistry in 2000. During her mandatory NYSC programme, she worked as a graduate assistant to Professor P.A.C Okoye. Mrs. Rose Nkem Obi, the erudite chemistry teacher at Federal Government Girls’ College, Onitsha, possesses post-graduate certificate in education and an MSc in Chemistry. It was in 2013 that she was fully absorbed as a senior education officer by the Federal Ministry of Education after her 10 year stint at Federal Government Girls’ College as a PTA teacher.
Her teaching job at FGGC Onitsha and the tutelage she received at home and schools are the factors behind her emergence as the Maltina Teacher of the Year. At Federal Government Girls’ College, Onitsha, teachers are monitored and assessed periodically. And when the quality of a teacher’s teaching starts to dip, he/she would have to undergo tutelage. More so, being the daughter of a secondary school mathematics teacher, Mrs. Akpulu, she developed a great liking for Mathematics and the sciences. Mrs. Rose Nkem Obi, who has a good grasp of Chemistry, does her teaching job painstakingly and conscientiously. No wonder, her students do mill around her in the same way as bees are attracted to honey.
Before emerging the overall winner, she had scaled the hurdle placed before her. She wrote a 150 word essay on her teaching philosophy; and a 750 word case study of her teaching strategy, practicality of the strategy and challenges. And not only was she assessed while teaching her students in a classroom by a panel set up by Nigerian Breweries Ltd, the panel of judges each interviewed her in Lagos.
Outside academic activities, the wife of a lawyer and mother of a seven year old daughter is a keen fan of athletics, being a sprinter, who participated in 100m, 200m, and 4x100m races. She was the games prefect in her school in 1995. However, her mother discouraged her from seeking a career in athletics.
For her efforts, Rose received N500, 000 and N1, 000, 000 respectively for being both state and national champions. And for five years, she will receive one million naira each year on world teachers’ day, which takes place on every October 5. Moreover, for being the national champion, she will undergo further professional training outside Nigeria. And Nigerian Breweries Plc, sponsor of the competition, will execute infrastructural project in her school that is worth N25 million.
Okoye, a poet and civil servant, writes from Uruowulu-Obosi, Anambra State.