Uche Cecil Izuora
An 11-year-old Oluwaseun Samuel Temitayo-Ojo of Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos and 15-year-old Ekemini Keziah Effiong-Robert of the African Church Model College, Agege, Lagos, have emerged winners in the junior and senior categories, respectively, of the 30th-anniversary edition of the annual SystemSpecs Children’s Day Essay Competition (CDEC).
The two led about 2,000 other entrants from 795 schools across all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory in the competition organised by SystemSpecs, Africa’s financial, human capital and e-commerce technology giant.
Somadina Edeh, 10, of Independence Layout Nursery and Primary School, Enugu state and 12-year-old Emmanuel Nkanu Nkanu of St Anne High School, Calabar, Cross River emerged first and second runners-up, respectively, in the junior category.
Chetachi Best Mbalu from Lagooz School, Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos state, the 13-year-old junior category winner in 2021, emerged second in the senior category in 2022. 13-year-old David Nkereuwem of Holy Mary Comprehensive College, Benin City, Edo state, was the third in the senior category.
In the 30th anniversary and third edition of the annual competition, Nigerian children aged 9 to 16 shared relevant technology-led ideas with the potential of transforming the nation’s educational system.
This year, the first-place winner of the competition in each category will receive a high capacity laptop, a topnotch headphones, a free 3-month coding course at uLesson Coding School, monthly 10-gigabyte internet data for one year, branded travel suite case, a unique keepsake hoodie, a thermal flask, and school bag.
Second-place winner in each category would also receive a high capacity laptop, a topnotch headphone, a free 3-month coding course at uLesson Coding School, monthly 5-gigabyte internet data for one year, a trendy hoodie, a thermal flask, and a school bag.
Third-place winner in each category would receive a high-performance tablet, a headphone, a free 3-month coding course at uLesson Coding School, a branded hoodie, a thermal flask, and a school bag.
In addition, the top 3 winners in each category will gain automatic admission into the SystemSpecs National Summer Coding Camp, while the remaining in the top 30 Honour Roll would also be handsomely rewarded.
The School’s Award in the senior and junior categories went to the African Church Model College, Agege, Lagos and Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos respectively, winning 20 and 10 high-capacity laptops per school. This is aside from other benefits that include the implementation of an end-to-end electronic funds collection and payment system for both schools.
Oluwasegun Adesanya, Group Head, Corporate Services, SystemSpecs, said the firm’s annual Children’s Day Essay Competition aligns with its core values – Innovation and Diligence – and its CSR commitment geared towards developing capacity for national growth and development through technology.
He noted that this year’s competition is unique because it is part of SystemSpecs’ 30th-anniversary celebration.
“The quality of essays that we received from this year’s participants was mind-blowing. We have also identified inspiring solutions proffered by these young Nigerians as we are set to take the next step of translating their ideas to reality through our corporate social responsibility and collaboration with relevant stakeholders,” Adesanya added.
Adesanya applauded the support from leading bodies for the 2022 competition, especially uLesson – a frontline Edtech startup, the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Ministry of Education across all states, and State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).
Speaking on the evaluation process, one of this year’s judges, Dr Babatunde Obrimah, Chief Operating Officer, FinTech Association of Nigeria (FinTechNGR), said the winners’ selection process was free of any bias, as all entries were judged without the identities of the participants and in multiple assessments that led to shortlisting the winners as solely determined by the panel of judges.
“Many of the entries we received offered impressive solutions to improve Nigeria’s educational system, which proved that these children are eager to see the change they wished for. I commend this competition’s organisers for harping on the need to innovate to ensure Africa remains relevant and prioritises quality for a viable economy,” Dr Obrimah said.
SystemSpecs, providers of innovative solutions—Remita, HumanManager and Paylink—is a technology powerhouse providing innovative solutions for individuals, businesses and governments in Nigeria and the African continent.