Mrs. Folashade Yemi-Esan

By Uchechukwu Nnaike

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja, Mrs. Folashade Yemi-Esan, has charged students to develop the capability to balance academic and sports activities in such a way that one is not allowed to jeopardise the other.

Yemi-Esan, who made this known recently, during the 45th annual inter-house sports of the Federal Science and Technical College (FSTC) Yaba, Lagos, also advised students to give quality time to their academic work and to cultivate a good study habit.

She said the usefulness of sporting activities is beyond laurels won at competitions. “It is useful for our general well-being. When you are involved in activities such as jogging, aerobics and walks, you improve the functions of your heart and lungs. Hence, it can be deduced that sporting activities are capable of giving us a sound mind in physically strong body. Sports inculcate in us the spirit of tolerance, sportsmanship and leadership skills, among others.”

The permanent secretary, who was represented by the Director, Technology and Science Education at the ministry, Mr. Chega Sande Gandy, told the school’s athletes that they can become champions if they are disciplined, determined and make themselves available for rigorous training.

You also need to get engaged in challenging competitions that will give you the exposure you need to scale the challenges you will encounter before attaining height champions occupy.”

Yemi-Esan also appreciated the supportive roles of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of the school, saying, “I congratulate the entire members of the association for the successful completion of the ultra-modern 1,200 capacity hostel for the girls. I am impressed by the grand design of the edifice and its impressive interior decorations. I am not surprised that students have already nicknamed the hostel a ‘five-star hostel’.

“I salute your courage, focus and determination in ensuring that the building is completed on time. Let me say here in clear terms that the roles of the association must remain supportive and complementary and not competitive in any way.”

In his remarks, the Principal, Rev. Chris Ugorji, said sports is a key part of schools’ curriculum because when students engage in sports, they have a healthy body and one cannot have sound health without a healthy body.

He stressed that it is not only in academics that people become stars, adding that many people have become famous by participating in sporting activities. “Parents are now encouraging their children to begin to participate in sports and the talent is discovered during sporting activities in secondary school. We ensure that the students are well encouraged and motivated to participate in sports.”

To the participating students, Ugorji said there are attributes to be picked up from the competition just like lessons to be learnt in life. Life is generally tough and competitive yet everyone’s determination is to succeed. So be encouraged to finish no matter how tough the competition may be.”

On his part, the Chairman of the occasion, Mr. M.K Ofor, who was a former principal of the school, expressed satisfaction with the level of physical development and transformation at the school, saying, “I am equally happy about the college’s achievement academically. I see all these as a dream come true. This is the realisation of our re-engineering efforts in concrete terms.”