REPORT OF THE YEAR 2023 YOUTH OF EXCELLENCE STRIDES (YES) AWARD HELD AT PAANEAH FOUNDATION HALL ON THE 19TH OF MAY, 2023.
Our organization is an indigenous non-governmental adolescent and youth-focused organisation. In line with our mission “to catalyse, promote, and support the development and well-being of adolescents and youths, particularly the most vulnerable groups, so as to attain excellence in every dimension of life”, we held our annual “Youth of Excellence Strides” (YES) Award programme on the 19th of May, 2023.
The YES Award programme is an annual programme designed to encourage youths to strive and work hard to attain excellence and also encourage outstanding students to keep working hard. This year’s programme was designed to feature the senior and junior categories of the Table-Tennis Competition as well as the Junior and Senior Category of the Quiz Competition which was based on International Politics, History, General Knowledge of the World, Nigerian Current Affairs and Technology.
The programme started with the Table-Tennis Competition – Senior Category. Six schools which are Iyesi Ota High School Senior, Anglican Grammar School Senior, St. Michael High School Senior, AUD Comprehensive College Senior, Local Government Commercial Secondary School Senior and Iganmode Grammar School Senior participated in the Table-Tennis Competition. It was an interesting and tough competition at the same time. The competition which was conducted in the presence of the schools’ representatives at our sports arena was moderated by our programme manager – Oluwasola Abiola and one of our volunteers – Olajide Ogunniran. Transparency and fairness were keenly observed. The competition was keenly competed and the emerged winners, Anglican Grammar School Senior, AUD Comprehensive College Senior and Iganmode Grammar School Senior were respectively announced and presented prizes alongside the other awardees of the day.
Immediately after the Table-Tennis Competition, the main programme commenced. The Master of Ceremony for the day swung into action and duly followed the agenda, hence all items on the agenda were time-consciously followed.
The Chairman of the event who is also the current chairman of the board of trustees of the organization, in the person of Mr Oye Taiwo, a passionate lover of excellence and young people gave a speech after the vice-chairman of the board of trustees in the person of Mrs Modupe Eni-Olayoku rendered a welcome address. The CEO and Founder of the organization, Professor Adesgun Olayiwola Fatusi was also ably represented at the event by Mr Olajide Fatusi and his goodwill messages were duly delivered as well.
The Quiz Competition took place during the course of the programme and it was an interesting moment that witnessed the intellectual display of the various school representatives. The competition was keenly competed and the winners were also announced and presented prizes alongside the other awardees of the day.
The event’s high point was the presentation of Awards to the overall best 3 students of the 2022 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) across public secondary schools in Ado-Odo, Ota LGA. Followed by the presentation of awards to the winners of our 2022 artwork competition tagged “Transition.”
Awardees were called forward for recognition and have been given award certificates and cash prizes at their respective schools in other to encourage other students to admire and emulate hard work.
As of the time of putting this report together, all prizes promised to both students and schools have been fulfilled in the presence of the students and staff members of the schools concerned and we have pictorial evidence evidence to show.
To get the best 3 students, grades of all results received from a total of seven Junior Secondary Schools in Ado-odo Ota that honoured our request for the top three BECE results among other schools reached out to were assigned marks. Mathematics and English language A grades were assigned 10 marks, while other subjects A grades were given 5 marks, and all C grades irrespective of the subject were assigned 2 marks. It was a tough exercise as we had a tie between six students from different schools. These students were invited over for a physical assessment which contained a written Maths and English examination and an oral interview. This exercise was properly monitored by the school representatives on the different days of the assessment.
The event which started at 10 am prompt ended at about 2:30 pm with various group photography sessions.
One of the challenges faced during the course of having this programme come to reality was the need for postponement due to the election and different ugly situations happening in the country as of the time the programme was initially scheduled to hold.
Unfortunately, we still encountered similar challenges as in the past. The first and typical one is the long duration it takes to receive approval from the State Ministry of Education despite our passionate and consistent activities with public secondary schools in Ota. Another challenge is the attitude of some of the schools’ authority towards laudable and progressive projects like this. More so, the State Ministry of Education approval letter to conduct our program was presented to each of the schools we approached.
It is important we liaise and work more with the Ministry of Education and particularly the department within the ministry that works with Non-governmental organisations for constant and increased knowledge about our organisation and what we do because it has been observed that most times, the staff are usually transferred and so we have to start our introduction all over with the new staff we meet on the seat. Peradventure, we could also leverage the influence of Members of the Paaneah Foundation Board at times like this.
In summary, the programme was successful and we appreciate the support of every stakeholder towards the success of the awards ceremony this year, we look forward to continued support and increased engagements in the coming years.