Onabanke Oluyomi Onabamiro is a chip off the old block. Her father, the late Professor Sanya Dojo Onabamiro made a great impact on education and was credited with the formation of many universities in Nigeria, especially the University of Ife now known as Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU).
Education in Nigeria has taken a turn for the worse, and you could only get a quality one if you paid through your nose. Banke stuck with the teaching job in state schools in order to help infuse quality back into them. Failure rate in many schools was 90% so something had to be done.
She began by being loving and attentive to her students, giving them free lessons. In 2004, she founded a library at a school that did not have a single book. The books cost hundred thousand Naira (bought with her very small salary. She put the academic needs of her students above her own basic needs.
In almost 25 years of teaching and serving in some Oyo State schools, Onabanke has spent more and more money, given time and effort (going to work on Saturdays to teach her students who were very weak how to read, every Saturday, for two years from 10am -12.30pm free), more free lessons in school and much more, because those weak students needed all that love, attention, and help.
Recently, Onabanke was transferred to another school, and although now a Vice Principal (Special Duties), she still has responsibilities for teaching SSS1 and SSS2 Literature-in-English. Sad to note that of about 120 students, less than 8 could afford textbooks. Banke swung into action. She immediately ordered textbooks (with her own money), but she needed to do more, so she approached family and friends (privately) to raise more funds and as of now almost 1,000 textbooks have been purchased for the students, and more to come.
Miss Onabamiro is recognised with this award, for philanthropic gestures in the schools she’s taught in. She was also given an award as the Most Caring Teacher of 2020 by the Yoruba Leadership Forum in the UK.