Three privately-owned secondary schools in Abia, Thursday, emerged winners of the 2021 edition of the State Quiz Competition.
Mayfair Academy, Umuahia Zone, scored 67 points to clinch the first position, with N1 million cash prize.
Ovom Girls High Scool, Obingwa Zone and Holy Brilliance College, Bende Zone, scored 53 points and 37 points to occupy the second and third positions.
They were rewarded with half a million naira and a quarter of a million naira, respectively at the end of the competition that held at the International Conference Centre, Umuahia.
The competition was sponsored by Ray Nkemdirim Foundation in collaboration with the state Ministry of Education.
In a speech, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu paid glowing tribute to Nkemdirim, the Chairman of the foundation, for looking back home to invest in the education of the young ones.
Ikpeazu, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Chris Ezem, said the initiative demonstrated his love for Abia, the youths and education.
He admonished students to pay serious attention to their studies and avoid distractions from the indiscriminate use of cellphones.
“To become lawyers, doctors, professors and successful politicians in future, this basic foundation is very important.
“If you fail to do well in your West African School Certificate (WASC), you will find it difficult to progress in your academic pursuit.
“So, this competition goes a long way to show how prepared you are for your final examination,” the governor said.
He also challenged parents to effectively monitor their children and wards in school.
He warned that nurturing the students to excel in their education should not be left in the hands of teachers alone.
Ikpeazu underscored the need to prepare the children to concentrate on their studies in order to become “leaders that would add value to the system and become reference points.
He said that sound education for the young ones would largely help to curb the nation’s socio-economic vices, especially the festering security challenges.
According to him, proper education will help to nurture the children to become good ambassadors of their families, schools and Abia.
The governor promised that the state would continue to partner with the foundation to build the children to enable them to contribute positively to the development of society.
The Chairman of the foundation said the competition was part of his efforts to give back to society and contribute to the academic development of Abia children.
“We want to use the competition to inspire the spirit of hardwork in them.
“It will become an annual event,” Nkemdirim, a retired Deputy Director of the Department of State Service and owner of Flo FM Radio, Umuiahia, said.
He further said the foundation had commenced discussion with international organisations for the scholarship component of the competition.
He thanked the ministry of education for providing seamless bureaucratic support for the success of the competition.
Mr Ikechukwu Nwosu, a former Executive Secretary of the state Universal Basic Education, who was the Chairman of the event, thanked Nkemdirim for his contribution to the education of the young ones.
The Proprietor of Mayfair Academy, Dr Enyi Harbour, said he was greatly impressed that the initiative was coming from the private sector.
Harbour expressed joy that the top three schools were privately-owned and hoped the public schools would join the leading category in future competitions.
The Coordinator of the foundation, Mr Uche Ama-Ohakah, said that 200 schools entered for the competition, which spanned two months. (NAN)