By Dayo Adesulu
AGAIN, two female students have emerged first and second in the 14th Mike Okonkwo National Essay competition. While Miss Alexandra Nwigwe of Vivian Fowler Memorial College Lagos, emerged the overall best, scoring 90 per cent in the first round of the competition and 80 per cent in the second round, Miss Jesudunta Mercy Ipinmoye of Corona Secondary School Agbara, came second scoring 80 per cent in the first round and 72 per cent in the second round.
The third position went to Master Akingbade Gbenga of Emerald High School Lagos who scored 80 per cent in the first round and 70 per cent in the second round. Recall that in 2016 essay contest, Miss Fadilah Saliu-Ahmed of Zamani College, Kaduna emerged overall best. Just as the second position went to Miss Barakat Adebayo of Roshallom International School Egbeda, Lagos, and the third position went to Miss Wuraola Adeoye of Fountain Height Secondary School, Lagos.
The feat from the female folk speaks volume of their academic performance in essay competition. Other winners in the 2017 essay contest include: Chinedu Chimezie of Cedar Collage, Ipaja, Adedeji Aderemi of Grange School, G.R.A Ikeja, Atoyebi Israel of Kings College, Lagos, Olalere Victor of Deeper Life High School, Akure, Okadigbo Juliet of State Senior Grammar School, Surulere and Kolawole Oladunni of Reagan Memorial Baptist Girls Secondary School, Yaba.
In her reaction, the chief examiner of the essay competition, Professor Hope Eghagha, Head, Department of English, University of Lagos, Akoka, said that the Mike Okonkwo Essay Competition for Secondary School students received a total of seven hundred and ninety six (796) entries.
She said, “This is after the organizers used their internal control mechanism to ensure that only qualified persons applied. “After applying standard criteria in the assessment, we concluded that 27 entries were not original because they were plagiarized. ‘’This was after cross-checking each entry carefully with internet sources to determine their originality. This is one of the problems confronting us in the education sector currently. Some students simply download material from the internet and submit same as their original work”
Speaking further, she said: “After the first round of assessment in which we judged mechanical accuracy, the use of language, originality of thought, and thematic focus, 10 participants were selected and eventually invited for the second stage of the competition. The second stage was mainly a confirmatory procedure, meant to ensure that the first stage winners were indeed the authentic writers of the short-listed essays.”
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