By Uchechukwu Nnaike
Help is on the way for Nigerian parents in the diaspora who wish to enroll their children in Nigerian secondary schools, but are not sure of the standard and the possibility of their children fitting back into higher institutions in the UK or USA.
Some private secondary schools in Lagos and other parts of the country, under the aegis of the Association of Private Educators in Nigeria (APEN) are set to take their services to them through an exhibition in the UK tagged ‘Top Nigerian Private Secondary Schools UK Education Fair 2016’, which will hold next month with 25 schools, while that of US will come later.
Among other benefits, the fair will enable parents: get their children out of the UK environment within the secondary school age gap but still give them the same or better standard of education; get the children closer to their root; and teach their children all about Nigeria and its culture in a Nigerian environment.
The organisers said the initiative will also generate foreign exchange for the country; promote education tourism; reorient Nigerian children in the diaspora by promoting Nigerian culture and tradition; and help parents preserve the future of their children.
Briefing journalists in Lagos recently, the Project Director, Femi Akinwunmi, who doubles as the Team Lead at Brand Edge Ltd (promoters of the fair), said the fair was conceived to help Nigerian parents abroad who are burdened by legal realities and the challenge of inculcating character, African values and discipline in their children.
“These hard working parents battle so hard to keep their wonderful kids focused on a decent career path with so much distractions and limitations to enforce discipline, they lose them at this stage. All they wish for is that these kids be perfectly moulded and hopefully end up like Mr. Barrack Obama.”
He cited the case of Obama who grew up in a black community and was exposed to drugs and other social devices, but moved out of the community with his mother at some point and the reform began.
“He went on to graduate from Harvard; he went on to marry a decent woman; he served the community; he went on to become the first black American president. What if he was not taken out of that community?”
This he said proves that education is key, but values and heritage are pedestals to success. “With both, our children can become as great as parents desire them to be.”
The organisers said they have identified the top 100 private, federal and state secondary schools in Nigeria that offer British and American standard of education, adding that the schools have over the years imported human resources from around the world to create an inclusive model of high standard blended with values to mould Nigerian and foreign children into young adults ready to achieve boundless heights in various higher institution around the world.
In her remarks, a representative of one of the participating schools, Mrs. Joke Chukwuma, of Children’s International School, Lagos, stressed the importance of imparting African values in students, adding that Nigerian schools have good things to offer.
She said most Nigerian parents abroad wish to send their secondary school age children back to the country because the distractions over there could make them lose focus. But in Nigeria, they will be inspired by their peers to work hard and make good career choices.