From Austine Tule, Makurdi
Two former teachers of Queen of the Rosery Secondary School Gboko in Benue State were recently presented with merit awards by one of their old students, Rita Iorbo who graduated from the school in 1991.
The two teachers received the awards during the 56th Graduation and Prize Giving Ceremony held on 13th July 2019 at the school premises in Gboko.
The AUTHORITY gathered that Mr. Nathaniel Makir Zakpe who was the school founding teacher in Fine Arts and Mrs. Dorothy Atser, the founding Social Studies teacher bagged the awards respectively.
Donor of the awards Rita Iorbo told this medium that the awards on her two former teachers was her token of appreciation over the impact they made on her life while at the institution.
She informed that the skills she learnt from Mr. Zakpe greatly enhanced her personal and career development while Mrs. Atser’s influence laid the foundation for her better understanding of society’s social structures and systems.
She added that “Mrs Atser introduced Social Studies to me when I came into the school in Form 1 in 1985 (now known as JSS one) and said, Social Studies is the study of society, relationships and how these relationships make society to function. Every member of society is expected to make society to function. For example, as a teacher, I am making society function by teaching my students. As a child, you could make society function by obeying your parents; obeying school rules and by being a good child and therefore, a good citizen.”
She stressed that “Society works well when we all do what we are expected to do. You must not wait until you grow old and to be in government before you can play your part of making society function.” According to Ms. Iorbo, Mrs. Atser’s simple method of teaching with practical examples made learning and understanding of the subject very easy.
On Zakpe, She said, “Today, I chose to appreciate you Mr. Nathaniel Zakpe, for impacting positively on my life 34 years ago, in September of 1985 when I came to Form 1 at Queen of the Rosary Secondary School, Gboko.
“You walked into the classroom and introduced yourself as Mr. Nathaniel Zakpe, the Fine Arts teacher and added that we could call you , Mr. Zakpe for short. You also introduced the subject Fine Arts as a subject in the family of arts like music, dance, poetry, painting and so on. You added that Fine Arts is the creation of our imagination on a surface and one could use different materials to create an impression. E.g. one could use lines to draw. What then is a line? A line is a moving point.”
Continuing, Rita pointed after marking their assignment, Mr. Zakpe remarked: “very good attempt. Please keep it up.” These remarks made me happy because I had never received such kind remarks from my teachers. I was used to teachers remarking, “very poor, poor, fail, fair, good, pass, etc.” But he communicated to me in his remarks, commended my efforts and encouraged me to keep up the good work. He made me feel proud of myself and gave me hope that I could do better if I sustained the efforts. His use of the word “please” made me feel there was some important about me that he wanted me to sustain. As a child, this meant a lot to me and made me excel in the subject beyond the classrooms.
“Later in life, I set up an arts studio where I created and marketed my arts extensively to fund my degree education,” Rita told this medium.
Speaking with the AUTHORITY shortly after receiving the awards, the two recipients expressed joy saying they were overwhelmed by the gesture.
According to Mr Zakpe, “I am shocked but highly elated. I never knew that what I did about 35 years ago and which to me was like doing my job as a teacher would be rewarded in this manner.
“Rita has given me my reward today while I am still alive. She is the reason why I am here and I must tell you that today is the happiest day of my life. It is something very uncommon among people these days. I lack words to express how I feel about this honour. May God continue to bless and protect her.”
On her part, Mrs. Dorothy Atser said, “The gesture has restored back life into me. After retirement, life became very boring but today, Rita had brought back life into me, words alone cannot express how I feel. My prayer is that God should continue to bless her and grant her heart desires. If I die today, I will die fulfilled woman owing to this award.”
151 students according to the school Vice Principal academics, Lady Matilda Jirkor graduted from the school during the 2018/2019 academic session.