My Humble Experience As A Teacher
A Dinner Talk by Olaoluwa Asubiojo (Recipient, National Best Teacher’s Award)
At the Ministry of Justice Black Tie Dinner, held at the Adetiloye Hall of
Fountain Hotel, Ado-Ekiti.
On 16th October 2020
Dinner Talk by Olaoluwa Asubiojo, Recipient, National Best Teachers Award (Secondary School Category)
MY HUMBLE EXPERIENCE AS A TEACHER
Your Excellency, Governor of Ekiti State Dr. John Kayode Fayemi
Your Excellency, Deputy Governor of Ekiti State Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi,
Our Mother General and Wife of the Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi,
The Rt. Honourable Fuminiyi Afuye, The Honourable Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly
Our host the Honourable Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice, Olawale Fapohunda
The Honourable Commissioner for Education Science Technology, Dr. Aderiye
Kindly allow me to stand on the protocols that have been stated by the speakers before me.
2. I am humbled and honoured for the rare privilege to give a speech at this high level occasion. I have to confess that when I got a call from the Ministry of Justice that the Honourable Attorney-General wanted to see me I was afraid. I wondered if I had come into conflict with the law in any way. I was overwhelmed when the Attorney-General requested that I give this dinner talk.
3. The Attorney-General by this rare gesture has confirmed that the Fayemi administration recognizes excellence wherever it exists in Ekiti State. Allow me to use this opportunity to give glory to God Almighty for giving us a multi-talented, kind, innovative, pragmatic, enigmatic and creative leader as our governor. I also praise God for the great heights that God has prepared for him. We have a Governor that we can be truly proud of.
4. The Honourable Attorney-General has asked me to share my story. The story of my incredible journey from Igede-Ekiti to national prominence. My name is Olaoluwa Henry Asubiojo, a native of Igede Ekiti, Irepodun Ifelodun Local Government Area. I attended Saint John’s Anglican Primary School, Igede Ekiti, Ekiti Baptist High School, Igede-Ekiti for my secondary education and Christ’s School, Ado Ekiti for my Advance level education before proceeding to the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti where I graduated as a Geological engineer from the Mineral Resources Engineering department in 1996. I later obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) 2008 as a prerequisite to become a professional teacher.
5. My teaching experience started when I was in the secondary school, as the senior prefect of the school then, I was teaching form two students mathematics and integrated science. My mates and seniors would ask me to find solutions to difficult questions, which I always did. When I was undergoing the A level Programme, I had to be coming back to secondary school to teach physics because they had no Physics teacher. Teaching had always been my passion right from then. After the compulsory youth service corps program (1998), I got a part-time teaching job with Lagos State Continuing Education Center at Apostolic Grammar School, kosofe area to prepare students to re-take examinations.
6. In September 2005, the late King of Emure kingdom, Oba Bamidele Oshin of blessed memory brought me to Ekiti State. He employed me to teach mathematics and sciences in Emure. In 2006 he helped me into the Ekiti State Teaching Service Commission as a science teacher. The setting I met on ground was different from what it used to be during our time. I was determined to make a difference.
7. I started thinking of ways to better the lots of the students. First, I did a need analysis of the students and the teaching environment. I discovered that the teaching and learning process had to be overhauled if I was to make a difference in the lives of the students. In many cases the students were willing to learn but there were a number of practical challenges that affected the quality of their education. Many of the students had no role models to positively influence their lives and ambitions. The teachers themselves were confronted with the problem of outdated curriculum, insufficient materials and lack of appropriate training.
8. I started by gathering information about appropriate curriculum content, teaching methods and the peculiarities of the curriculum content. I also began to change student’s mindset to learning by looking for various ways to arouse their interest, captivate them and sustain their interest. I thank God it started paying off after three years when my students started getting distinction in mathematics and the sciences. I was confident enough to present these students for competitions and we got good results.
9. Let me at this juncture, commend the astuteness and creativity of our pragmatic governor for instituting the foundation for Ekiti State digital literacy. You may all recall that during His Excellency’s first term in office, his government presented laptops to students and teachers. This single well thought out policy opened the eyes of our students to modern digital education. On the teacher’s laptop computers were two important software- the lecture maker and the test maker. These for me were formidable game changer in the teaching and learning process for both online and offline application. I have to say that for those who may have had any doubts about the effectiveness of that policy, I am evidence of the success of its success.
10. In 2015, I was presented as the best teacher to represent Orija High School, Emure Ekiti. I won at the local government level but regrettably not at the state level. So I did not win the Car prize for the best teacher in the State. That same year I was transferred to Amoye Grammar School Ikere Ekiti. I had to study the situation of the new school for a session. By 2016, I had got enough information to work with. My first set of activities included the cleanliness of the school environment and the development of mental and moral consciousness in the students. I also started developing new methods of teaching. Grouping of students according to their abilities and giving them project topics.
11. My teaching methods produced immediate results as my students started showing considerable improvement in their academic abilities as well as self-discipline. In 2018, one of my students came third from the South West Zone in the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Science Quiz competition. That same year two of my students represented Ekiti State in the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) National Science Projects Exhibition in Katsina state. They came first out of all the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT that was represented in that competition.
12. In 2019, Amoye Grammar School Ikere Ekiti presented me as the school’s best teacher to compete in the State Best Teacher Competition. I came first at the Local Government level and at the state level, I was adjudged the best teacher Ekiti State 2019. Our amiable Governor gave me a cash award that was very timely. I have to emphasise that it was this merit-based process of selecting the best teacher as directed by His Excellency that enabled my recognition. I was nominated to represent Ekiti State at the National level. I am pleased to inform that on October 5 I received the National Best Teachers Award in the Senior Secondary School Category. In addition to all the encomiums I got a Car prize.
13. The Honourable Attorney-General told me that he wanted me to tell my story because according to him, my story will serve as motivation not only for all teachers in Ekiti State but also all those public officers who continue to give their best in the service of the government and people of Ekiti State. There is an old saying that the reward of teachers is in heaven. I hope my experience have shown that with hard work, perseverance and God’s abundant grace, we don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to reap the fruits of our labour.
14. I am most indebted to His Excellency, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi for providing the conducive teaching and learning environment for me to excel. I want to respectfully urge His Excellency, to continue to prioritize education. There are many potential National best teachers in our education system that are beneficiaries of His Excellency’s progressive intervention in our education system. I have no doubt that Ekiti State teachers will continue to make the State proud.
I thank you all for listening