By Nna Anulumadu
It was jubilation once again for the students of Mater Amabilis Secondary School, Umuoji, Anambra State, as they beat off stiff competition from about 20 top schools, drawn from the different parts of the country, to win the 2023 National Entrepreneurship Exhibition and Awards. The annual tournament which is organized every year by the Nigerian segment of the Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE), is aimed at creating new generation of entrepreneurial leaders whose innovative ideas can help to meet the needs of their immediate society and the world at large. This year’s tournament was organized at the Area Council Service Commission House, Garki Abuja, from 25th to 28th June, 2023. It provided an opportunity for the students to learn from each other, share their experiences, and network with like-minded individuals.
Each of the teams that participated in the competition exhibited and explained their projects, demonstrating creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial skills that are crucial for success in today’s global economy. The various team’s innovative ideas and skills impressed the judges and put them in a difficult position to decide who the extraordinary team will be. In the end, Mater Amabilis Secondary School, Umuoji, Anambra State, clinched the overall First Position. The Second and Third Positions went to University of Calabar Demonstration Secondary School, Calabar, and Government Technical College Garki, Abuja respectively. Students of Mater Amabilis developed and patented two projects: a hydro-electric device that converts salt water into electricity and a multi-purpose agro machine that weeds, irrigates, seeds, fumigates and checks the soil moisture and nutrient level.
Other schools that won the sub-category awards during the event include the following: Attarbiyya Stem School, Abuja (Best Innovation Business Project), Hendon College, Abuja (Best Innovation Project), Federal Government College, Vandeikya, Benue State (Best Social Enterprise Business Project), St. John Vianney Science School, Igbariam, Anambra State (Best Environmentally Sustainable Project), Start-rite Schools, Abuja (Best Impact Driven Project), The Bells Comprehensive Secondary School, Ota, Ogun State (Best Market Viable Project), Marist Bicentenary College, Ngor-okpala, Imo State (Community Service Award), Regina Pacis Model Secondary School, Onitsha, Anambra State (Best Sustainable Health Impact Project).
By this win, the students of Mater Amabilis, Umuoji will now represent Nigeria at the SAGE World Cup slated to take place in Italy later this year. The gold-winning girls were also offered 100% scholarship to study in Cyprus International University. In a related development, Mr. Joshua Ekeh, the Chief Coach of Mater Amabilis, Umuoji bagged the National Best Mentor of the year award. Reacting to the news, the Manager of Mater Amabilis Secondary School, Umuoji, Rev. Fr. Francis Onwuchulum, congratulated the students for their stellar performance which he described as the latest chapter of the many success stories which the school has recorded in recent times. He thanked the school Coaches, Mr. Joshua Ekeh and Miss Grace Amamudi, for their efforts and contributions. He observed that the triumph of his students at the national tournament is a testament of the lofty standard of academic excellence and discipline that is obtainable in the present day Mater Amabilis Secondary School, Umuoji. He lauded the Proprietor of the School, Most Rev. Valerian Maduka Okeke, the Archbishop of Onitsha, whom he described as the brain behind all the achievements the school has recorded in recent times. He admonished the award-winning students to remain focused in their studies, and to see this triumph as a stepping stone to bigger breakthroughs in life.