By Funmi Ogundare
The newly appointed Principal of King’s College, Lagos, Mr. Anthony Oluseyi Thomas, has called on the government to establish more unity schools, saying that facilities are already overstretched as a result of the increasing number of students seeking admission into the colleges.
Thomas, who made the call recently at the college’s annual inter-house sports and athletics competition, decried the rate at which students are being admitted saying,” everybody wants to come to unity colleges because of the facilities and the quality of teachers we have, but there is a limit to what we can take. We have qualified and experienced teachers, everybody wants his child to come to unity colleges but we can’t take all. Because of that we are only limited to our carrying capacity.”
On the 500,000 teachers the federal government plans to employ, he said he believes that they would be trained, adding that the civil service commission would take the issue of professionalism seriously.
“If you are not a professional teacher, you cannot be appointed as a teacher even if you have first class, the same goes for other fields, so professionalism is being looked into. When we say we have teachers, then we have professionalism and government emphasises that, and we know that those who may definitely be appointed must be trained teachers.”
The principal, who expressed concern about the shortage of teachers in the college, said the 500,000 teachers the federal government plans to employ would help improve the performance of students.
On his agenda for the school, Thomas who has only spent four months as the principal said: “It is about the students’ progress, development and welfare and that is what we are pursuing. We want to build the student such that when he leaves the school, he will become useful to himself and the society and the nation at large. We will be proud of him that he has gone out of this school and we can also be proud of him anywhere.”
Assessing the ongoing Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), the principal expressed excitement about the results of his students saying, “from the first set of results, released by JAMB, we are having our students scoring 287 and we have another scoring 304 points so we are expecting most of our students to have such results.”
He attributed their success to the dedication on the part of management and staff, adding that the college has aligned them to regular prepping which wasn’t there before.
“Discipline is also very important. For those students who are saying they cannot abide, we are going to call their parents to watch over them and that they should also get close to them.”
Thomas who also emphasised the importance of sports to the upbringing of the children, said, “it is