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Don seeks inclusion of responsible Internet usage in school curriculum

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Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo


A university teacher, Prof Akachi Ezeigbo has canvassed the inclusion of responsible internet usage in the secondary school curriculum to enlighten pupils on positive use of technology. Ezeigbo, who was the chief examiner at the 2019 Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition for secondary school students, recommended a review of the syllabus to make students understand the dangers in plagiarism.

“The fact that almost any material is available and accessible via a click makes a compelling case for us to introduce the teaching of responsible Internet usage in the secondary school curriculum. We recommend a review and expansion of the syllabus of a subject like civic education to include teaching students to understand that plagiarism violates intellectual property rights, and that referencing the literatures they consult as they make their points is a key aspect of their academic development.”

While announcing the results, Ezeigbo disclosed that a total of 612 essay entries were sent in for assessment, representing a drop of about 28 per cent when compared to the 848 that were received and assessed last year. She, however, noted that the drop does not indicate any waning of enthusiasm for the competition.

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“On the contrary, feedback from teachers and students indicates that some schools in Lagos are now adopting the winning entries of this competition as models in their teaching of writing and rhetoric. The drop was as a result of new management strategies introduced by the organisers to ensure that only credible entries are sent in for assessment.

“Based on the positive feedback and to further the institutionalisation of the lecture series, we urge the organisers to put the winning entries in a book form, as had been done to the adult version of lectures, in order to make the materials more portable and accessible to teachers and students. Such a compilation will build capacity and prepare students for a more viable participation in future competitions. More importantly, it will be a unique addition to curriculum materials. We assure you that our winning essays are original materials from gifted students that can function adequately as teaching materials.”

Sixteen-year old Esigbone Omagbemi Ferdinard of Roshallom International Secondary School, Egbeda, Lagos has emerged the overall winner in this year’s competition with a total average of 68 per cent. Ferdinard was the second runner up during the last year’s competition. Oluwaseun Esther Aremu of Shepherd International College, Ado-Ekiti came second with an average score of 61 per cent, while Adeola Ademuwa Ifeola from Chrisfield College, Itamaga, Ikorodu came third with a 60 per cent average score.

The duo of West Tamunonye also of Christfield College, Itamaga, Ikorodu, and Anazia Rita from Roshallom International School, both emerged fourth with a total score of 56 per cent.In the first round of the 2019 edition of the competition, a total of 612 entries were received from junior and senior secondary schools across different states of the federation and the topic was “Justice as an instrument of enduring peace in nation building while the second round topic was “Entrenching tolerance as solution to Nigeria’s ethnic and religious crises.

For coming top in this year’s competition, Ferdinard will get a cheque of N100, 000, a personal laptop, trophy and plaque, while the school gets three sets of computer and a printer. The first runner up would go home with a cheque of N75, 000 and a plaque while the school gets two sets of computers and a printer. For emerging the second runner up, Ifeola would receive a cheque of N50, 000 and plaque while the school gets a computer set.

The other winners will get a consolation price of N20, 000 each. Prizes for the winners will be presented at this year’s Mike Okonkwo annual lecture billed to hold on Thursday, September 5. The theme for this year’s lecture is “Justice as an instrument of enduring peace in nation building” and will be delivered by Femi Falana (SAN), while Chief Folake Solanke (SAN) will chair the event.

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Akachi Ezeigbo
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