By Uchechukwu Nnaike
The Chairman, Board of Trustees, Olashore International School, Osun State, Prince Abimbola Olashore, has described quality education as the key success factor in Nigeria’s quest for greatness, given the increasing challenges in the global and Nigerian economy, as well the compelling need for the country to be globally competitive.
Olashore, who made this known during an education round table in Lagos, said “the alarming fall of oil prices matched against the alarming slide of the naira has revealed the fundamental weakness of the Nigerian socio-economic structure. This can only be corrected long-term by a workforce that has strong and well-rounded educational grounding.”
He identified education as the difference maker in the new order, saying: “Education is not only vital for economic growth, but crucial to development broadly understood. Education in this age is more important than ever, because in a globalised economy a well-educated citizenry can better confront the challenges and opportunities created by greater economic integration. Investment in education is not only pro-growth; it also offers developing countries a route out of poverty and educational inequality.”
According to him, “while there is a paramount need to manage Nigeria’s oil resources more efficiently and create more wealth opportunities, there is an even greater need to invest more in education, especially because it is less obvious or less glamorous. Countries that are giving priority to education have been able to create a steady stream of human capital that are managing all other aspects of the economy and indeed society.
“It is only through a sound educational system that sound leaders, as well as a productive workforce can be developed over the course of time. We are now operating in a new knowledge economy where the factory is moving away from physical buildings and large infrastructure. The brain is the location of the new age factory. ”
The chairman said “the guiding principle of education in Nigeria is the equipping of every citizen with such knowledge, skills, attitudes and values as to enable him/her to derive maximum benefits from his/her membership in society; lead a fulfilling life and contribute to the development and welfare of the community.”
The Principal, Mr. Derek Smith, who is an international education expert, explained that the school is at the fore-front of raising leaders and nurturing children to their full potential while equipping students with such knowledge, skills, attitudes and values.
“Olashore International School believes in learning beyond the classroom so that students can fit into any society at any time. Last year, the school emerged one of the top 10 schools in Nigeria, and one of the best international schools in Africa. This year, the school won the British Council’s International School Award.”
He attributed the achievements to the focus of the school and its determination to offer the best to students, adding that the awards the school received so far give credibility and validation to the efforts of the staff and students in taking the school to its career peak.
“We believe in academic excellence; it is the bedrock of what the school stands for. We also have a unique and seamless blend of education and technology and we recently introduced the use of IPads by teachers and students in the classrooms. By the time we add other activities such as music, drama, discipline, leadership and the likes, we would have taken secondary school education in Nigeria to levels never reached before.”