The Internet has eased the research process – enabling users to gather data for various purposes. However, due to misuse and high level of plagiarism, Professor of English and celebrated author, Akachi Ezeigbo, has said secondary school pupils need to be taught to respect intellectual property and acknowledge sources in school.
In her assessment of the 612 entries submitted for the 2019 Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition for Secondary Schools, Prof Ezeigbo, the chief examiner of the competition, said responsible use of the internet should be included in secondary school curriculum.
She said: “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 (IP) rights, and that referencing the literatures they consult as they make their points is a key aspect of their academic development.”
Winners of the competition, Esigbone Ferdinard of Roshallom International Secondary School, Egbeda, Lagos; Oluwaseun Aremu of Shepherd International College Ado-Ekiti; and Adeola Ifeoluwa of Chrisfield College, Itamaga, Ikorodu and their schools, would be presented with prizes today during the Mike Okonkwo Annual Lecture holding at the Shell Hall Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos.
The lecture, which has as theme: Justice as an Instrument of enduring peace in nation building, would be delivered by activist lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN).
First woman to become a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Folake Solanke, will chair the lecture.
Ezeigbo urged the organisers of the competition initiated in honour of Bishop Mike Okonkwo, the presiding bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), to publish the winning essays in book form as it does for the adult lecture. She said doing so would provide reference material for teachers, who she said have acknowledged their usefulness in teaching writing and rhetoric.
The top three winners would be rewarded with N100,000, N75,000 and N50,000 each. In addition to the N100,00 grand prize, Eisgbone would get a laptop and plaque, while his school would get three computers and a printer. Second placed Oluwaseun would also get a plaque while her school gets two sets of computers and a printer. For coming third, Adeola will also get a plaque and her school, a computer set.
Four other finalists will get a consolation prize of N20,000. They are: West Tamunonye of Christfield College, Itamaga, Ikorodu, and Anazia Rita from Roshallom International School who tied at fourth position; and Ajayi Ibukun of Fit-Charis International School and Olaitan Olajuwon of Chrisfield College, Itamaga, both took the fifth position.