‘At Corona, We Brand Our Products For Global Leadership’

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Adeyoyin Adesina, the incumbent principal of Corona Secondary School Agbara who has just been elevated to the CEO of the Corona Schools Trust Council, showcases a track record of 16 years plus in educational activities including being on the driver’s seat as pioneer of Corona School Lekki. With academic exposures garnered locally and abroad in her chosen field- English Studies and Education, Adesina’s cutting edge in the growth and development of children to global relevance, is her value-added to an existing template that equates the college to international best practices in modern learning. Adesina, who is handing over to Chinedu Oluwadamilola, spoke with NDUKA NWOSU on why Corona will remain a reference point that has produced some of Nigeria’s best including Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, former Governor Donald Duke and many other greats in the polity

Can we start with a brief history of Corona?

In 1955, a group of mainly Irish and British women under the chair of Mrs. MacDonald established an organisation called the Corona Women’s Society. The Society’s main aim was to establish suitable schools based on the British educational model. These schools were open to children of all races. It started then with the Corona Day Nursery in Ikoyi and over the years has expanded to about eight schools within Lagos and Ogun states including a Teacher Training College.

Corona Secondary School, Agbara is one of the eight schools of the Corona Schools’ Trust Council. Located within the serene environment of Agbara Residential Estate, the school boasts of world class facilities that boost learning and the development of a total child in and outside the classroom. The classrooms are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and also technology-enabled so that students can take charge of their own learning with or without the teacher. Like all other Corona schools, it is established on esteemed values such as integrity, service to the community, team work, and commitment to the development of a total child amongst others. The school is affiliated to reputable bodies such as the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA), the Association of International School Educators of Nigeria (AISEN) and Council of British International Schools (COBIS).

What was the aim of the founder or founding fathers?

The focus of the Corona Schools’ Trust Council is the development of world-class schools and students, world class in all facets of our operations such as curriculum, teaching methodologies, staff quality, libraries, technology, buildings, resources, facilities and management. A Corona student is a confident learner, one who is globally minded and aware, who can successfully compete with contemporaries all around the world.

Our school was established in 1992, as a co-educational boarding school and we have successfully presented our students for Nigerian and British external examinations. We also have a campus that provides an appropriate setting for all that we set out to achieve.

The College is a teacher finishing school and has the ultimate objective of making teaching an attractive career option by improving and updating the skills of teachers, while broadening and deepening their knowledge base.

The Trust Council provides a collage of experiences and richness of diverse cultures for the children. We endorse enthusiasm for life and learning in a manner that allows every child to excel and be valued in his/her sphere of influence. Our aim is to make leaders of these children who have the self-confidence to meet the challenges of the future; the humility to acknowledge the success of others; the compassion to support others who encounter difficulties; and the maturity to take responsibility for their own actions

How is this aspiration resonating with the Corona schools of today especially the college?

Our overarching objective is to ensure that our students are able to live and work successfully in the hyper-turbulent, globalized and technological world that they are going to work in. In line with the avowed mission of the Trust Council, we want to educate the whole child. Working with a committed team of professionals, we ensure that our promise to each child who comes to Corona is that they can become multi-talented, flexible, competent individuals who are intellectually active, physically, verbally, socially and academically competent, empathic, caring and fair, creative and curious, disciplined, self-directed and goal oriented, critical thinkers, confident, cared for, valued and loved, enabling them to be globally competent and adaptable.

Is Corona purely an elitist school, otherwise how does the common man exploit the advantages the college offers?

Our brand is targeted at providing world class education for intelligent students who meet the Corona academic standard and appreciate the uniqueness of the Nigerian culture embedded in our school’s curriculum. Scholarships are awarded to exceptional students on a yearly basis, regardless of their social status.

How does Corona prepare its students for foreign and local examinations as well as admission to high profile institutions such as the Ivy-Leagues?

The unique curriculum allows all students to study for local (NECO), regional (WAEC) and international (IGCSE) qualifications which equip them not just with the knowledge they will need in the future but also the skills that will allow them to be life-long learners. In order to do this, our dedicated staff create an environment that enhances learning and as well as provide unflinching support for the students beyond the call of duty. Our results are proof of this and with our alumni in top ranking schools and organizations of the world, Corona has become an ever reliable brand. Our students are alumni of such reputable universities like Kings College – UK, Queen Mary College, Imperial College, MIT, Birmingham, Rutgers, Purdue, Georgia, University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, York University just to mention a few.

What is the quality of its work staff ranked along with similar institutions locally and abroad?

We have a team of qualified professionals who bring their wealth of experience and versatility to bear in content development, teaching methodology and facilitation of knowledge. Our staff members work in line with global best practices whilst upholding the ethics and core values that the Corona brand is known for. Continuous professional development is a shared vision of exemplary teaching practice which ensures delivery of our academic program to our students and helps our teachers stay in tune with global trends as it affects the profession.

Would you say Corona prepares its students and pupils for future leadership roles and how?

One of our values is to prepare children for a life of service and commitment. Our students understand clearly that leadership is service. They attend international conferences that help them experience actual leadership positions where they learn how to solve global problems. Our students take on leadership roles within and outside the classroom with a system to help them evaluate their performance constructively. Corona students regularly give back to the community by rendering selfless service to the less privileged within the community by donating classroom blocks, Science laboratories, and toilets in neighboring schools and markets, caring for the old and aged and raising money for children in orphanages through various initiatives.

Nationwide and globally, can you point to past Corona students in the
Hall of Fame?

Our alumni consist of highly placed members of local and international settings. Notable amongst them is the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osibajo, Donald Duke, Bukola Saraki, Tonye Cole – CEO Sahara Group, notable American cardiologist Yele Aluko, veteran actress Dakore Egbuson-Akande, ace comedian Olateju Oyelakin also referred to as Teju Babyface, popular TV presenter Morayo Afolabi-Brown, MD/CEO Nuli Juices Ada Osakwe, Okey Ofili, Jemine Rewane, Chizoba Imoka, Tomi Davies, Henrietta Joseph, Bola Adesola, just to mention a few, who attended various Corona primary schools.

Most schools in the category of Corona are often accused of confining students to the classroom without exposing them to other activities that may expose hidden talents; how is Corona combating this?

At Corona, we believe in developing a total, all-rounded child. For this reason, we have since taken learning out of the classroom by ensuring our students participate in community and service learning both within and outside the country. Our students participate in extracurricular activities in the school which include arts and crafts, chess – which exposes them to analytical thinking, vocational skills, aerobic and sporting activities – athletics, football, basketball and swimming, religious activities, public speaking, literary and confidence building activities, fashion and style, amongst others. At Corona Secondary School, each student is unique and then treated like an individual, encouraged to explore whilst learning in a structured environment until they become the best version of themselves. Each year group has a planned excursion ranging from local to foreign travels and interests, which includes a mandatory 10-day leadership training at Sea School.

Your college is high on mentoring, as a serious approach to building up these future leaders. Can you focus briefly on this?

Mentoring is a crucial aspect of the school’s Students Learning Enhancement Programme. It is a system in which people with lots of relevant experience and vital knowledge of a diverse nature advise, help and guide young people in school. The LSP initiative aims to increase students’ motivation and improve students’ achievements in various aspects. It helps staff to take individualised approach to helping students succeed. There is, through a profiling of both the mentor and the mentee, a positive match between the two; this is done with a view to achieving helpful communication between them. The mentor, with well-honed interpersonal skills, effectively communicates with the mentee while establishing a sound basis for interacting with subject teachers and pastoral staff towards ensuring the well-being and progress of the mentee.