Michael Enoette writes about a recently retired teacher who gave her all to the profession When Mrs. Victoria Efeturi bagged a Bachelors Degree in English and Philosophy from the University of Lagos, in 1980, she never wanted to be a teacher. But her husband, Benedict Efeturi, a former Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly, convinced her to give it a shot. “I pleaded with her to remain in the teaching profession in order to take care of our children,” he said.
Mrs. Efeturi would go on to teach English and Literature during her national youth service at Plateau State. After her service year, she proceeded to obtain her post-graduate degree, also from the University of Lagos, in 1990 and obtained a Masters Degree in Educational Administration and Planning from Nigeria’s Open University in September 2010. Meanwhile, from 1981 till 2017, she served the Lagos State Teaching Service as a classroom Subject Tutor, rising to the position of the Principal of Eko Junior Grammar School.
Mrs. Efeturi’s accomplishments, during her time as teacher and, especially, principal, were remarkable. During her time as Principal of Eko Junior Grammar School, the school’s record in Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) became excellent. She revived the school’s participation in external competitions at the zonal, district and state levels and undertook an incredible number of infrastructure projects. Some of the projects include the flooring, ceiling and painting of Junior Secondary School classes, making it more conducive for learning; the reconstruction of dilapidated buildings such as the Home Economics block and the new school hall; and a well labeled botanical garden.
Other achievements include the construction of a 16-tap point structure for hand-washing for the students during the Ebola crisis, the organising of morning and afternoon lessons as part of an academic drive, and the service of volunteer teachers were engaged for the progress and welfare of the students. Under her administration, the staff rooms were re-arranged to avoid congestion, security house doors and windows were fixed, the whole building was painted and proper illumination installed; also, Principal and Vice Principal offices, staff rooms and non-teaching staff offices were supplied with tables and chairs, wooden and metal cabinets, while electrical repairs were diligently taken care of.
Aside her outstanding performance as Principal, she won an award as the third Best Principal in Lagos State, despite stiff competition. In her time, also, the Vice Principal/Academics, Mrs. Ogunbiyi won an award as the Second Best Vice Principal for the 2014/2015 academic session.
However, having attained the statutory age of retirement for civil servants, Mrs. Efeturi is expected to step down this year. Recently, the Eko Juniour Grammar School organised a retirement programme, which coincided with her 60th birthday, for her.
During the programme, the Vice Principal Administration, Eko Junior Grammar School, Mrs. Adebayo, in her speech, expressed delight at Efeturi’s distinguished years of service. “The woman we are celebrating today is a highly devoted, diligent, generous, open-minded and a caring mother,” she said. “She is an advocate of punctuality as the soul of business. She has indeed touched all our lives during her tenure and we are sad to see her go. We will always remember her for all she has done. Thank you for everything you have done.”
Adebayo also confirmed Efeturi’s outstanding accomplishments during her time as Principal. “In her time, she achieved so much and her efforts have been instrumental in helping the school attain incredible heights of success,” she said. “During her tenure, the performance of the students in both internal and external examinations greatly improved. The BECE results were so impressive that the school was given an award as the third best junior secondary school in Oshodi/Isolo. In the area of co-curricular activities, club and society meetings were organised and celebrated.”
Mrs. Victoria Emenona Efeturi was born on June 2, 1957, to the family of late Mr. and Mrs. Johnson Anetogho of Aviara in Isoko Local Government, Delta State. She started her primary education at CMS Grammar School, Aviara in 1965. The primary education journey was completed at St. Michael Primary School, Ijebu-Ode, where she had her First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) in 1969. She proceeded to Adeola Odutola College, Ijebu-Ode and later Adesuwa Grammer School, (formerly AGGS) Benin City as a result of her father’s transfer of service to Benin City. She bagged HSC (Advanced Level) at IDIA College. In 1977, She took the next step to the prestigious University of Lagos (1977 – 1980) where she bagged a bachelors degree in English and Philosophy. She observed the mandatory national youth service in Plateau State, starting August 1, 1980.
A fervent believer in God, Mrs. Efeturi worships at Assembly of God Church, Isolo, where she serves as a deaconess, women leader, Sunday school teacher and member of several committees.
Mr. Benedict, her husband, was also at the send-forth. “Her retirement from public service is certainly not going to be the end of her work,” he said. “Rather it will spur her into giving more time to the service of God and her interest in education. So, as my darling wife prepares to bow out of her job as Principal of Eko High School, Okota, Lagos, after a meritorious career with the Lagos State Government, I am sure that her students, staff and the management will surely miss her great leadership qualities, competence and motherly roles in the affairs of the school. On this day of her sent-forth I celebrate my darling wife of inestimable value. In all things, there is always a beginning and the ending. This is that end of one chapter and the beginning of another in her glorious life.”