Day Waterman College recently celebrated the valedictory service for the Class of 2017. The event had in attendance important dignitaries from the public and private sectors. Ugo Aliogo who attended the event, reports
June 29, remains a memorable day in the annals of Day Waterman College, Shagamu, Ogun State. Unlike other important days in the school calendar, the day was set aside to mark the 2016/2017 valedictory service of the Class of 2017. For a school with a rich culture in hard work and excellence, every valedictory service is an opportunity to present to the world some of its finest brains.
The ceremony began with its special sparks to the delight of visiting parents, teachers and special guests. The hymn renditions from the orchestra team gave the hall, a celestial ambience. When the graduating students marched into the hall, they were the cynosure of all eyes. They walked through the isle with an angelic presence. Their faces looked solemn and wrapped in glory. Parents looked out from their seats to catch a glimpse of their wards.
There were several flash lights from cameras of the joyous parents. For the graduating students, it was the end of an era. A great journey has come to an end. They have succeeded in crossing an important phase in their lives, which would launch them to another. Their hope is that the experiences and time in the school will have a direct impact in this new phase. Their tenacity to break through the hurdles is a testament of the formation they received from the school.
When the Acting Principal, Dr. Tunji Abimbola, walked up to the podium, there was a standing ovation from the audience. This display of respect and honour stemmed from his personality and impressive track record in academics. Abimbola is a man who has proven his mettle in school administration. He is a man cut off from the rough and tumble of daily life. On the academic front, he has continuously entrenched the principles of hard work, dedication and commitment to students, teaching and non-teaching staff. He is looked up to by the students as a quintessential mentor and friend.
He began the address on a note of appreciation to the teaching and non-teaching staff for their immense support to the graduating students. He remarked that the mentoring the students have gained from the school was a great launch pad in this knowledge driven world. He also took time to advice the students on upholding the good virtues the school has instilled in them.
He said good character formation is a necessity of every successful man. He explained that it helps to mark an individual’s path and take him/her to higher quarters. He argued that talent is not enough for excellence in any chosen endeavour, while maintaining that a good character is needed to support talent.
“I urge you to uphold good character and be good ambassadors of the school and their families. Eschew poor attitude, aim extremely high and don’t compromise their standards because the world is counting on them.”
Abimbola said from September, the students would embark on another important phase in their respective life journeys.
He further stated that over 40 of the students would be attending Schools and Colleges in the United Kingdom, while 14 would be moving to Colleges in Canada and a minimum of seven would be progressing to schools in the United States.
The Acting Principal added that some students have decided to go for their University education in Hong Kong, China and Singapore, while others have decided to take a year off to gain work experience before furthering their education.
“An academic session is coming to an end today. What made your admission poignant for me, is that these students that have been part of Day Waterman College. After five years you must move on after an incredible journey. Over the years, I believe you have become more resilient, confident and self- motivated. I am excited about everyone of you.
“You have the potential to be all you want to be. I urge you to put your energies, time and talent to the institution with strong codes of conduct which will benefit you and the community at large. Many great corporate disasters would not have happened if they applied strong codes of conducts.”
Abimbola urged the students to focus solely on their future, adding that at this stage whatever they focus all their energy and time on, would have an immediate impact on them. Therefore he urged them to search for opportunities in every situation and make best use of it.
In her remarks, the Valedictorian, Adebola Osuntoki, noted that they wrote the external examinations and had interviews, while fine tuning their paths after DWC and preparing intensely for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE).
“Right from the outset, we were labelled as ‘smoking from here and there’ and truthfully, we were a cohort filled with a spectrum of gifts and talents. I am confident that we fulfilled this appraisal and God helped us, our results will be the physical proof of our hard work.”
In her remarks, the former Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank, Bola Adeosun, called on the students to make wise choices in order not to jeopardise their future and dreams.
She advised the students to find their own respective identity and pursue it with integrity, while urging them to always strive to be a first rate version of themselves, instead of settling for a second rate version.
“If there is no opportunity, you need to build a new door for yourself. Honour your parents and don’t forget the background that you are coming from. Don’t forget the trainings and the teachings you have gotten from DWC. Shun deviant behaviours that will bring disgrace to your parents. Avoid temptations that will bring you shame,” she advised.
Adeosun reminded the students that they were the future of the nation; therefore they must live upright, build a lasting legacy and make a mark for themselves in the affairs of life.
She challenged them never to conform to the happenings of the bandwagon, while urging them to pursue their goals with enthusiasm and prepare themselves for the task of nation building.
The success story of the Day Waterman College can’t be complete without a reflection on the founder’s message, late Olutayo Aderinokun.
The founder in his message, said at DWC it is their firm belief that secondary education remains one of the most important phases of a child’s educational journey because it is in secondary school that the most enduring relationships in an individual’s life are made; hence the cliché ‘Old Boys Network’. Given this background, it is therefore important that the experience of the child at this crucial period of life be solid, rewarding and pleasurable.
It stated that over the last two decades, they have witnessed a marked deterioration in the quality of education available in Nigeria, and its immediate environs, as a result of massive direct government intervention in education. Therefore, the major force driving the founders of the school is the desire to reverse this trend.
It added: “We believe that the Nigerian child should have the benefit of a high quality education while remaining in the local environment that allows them to maintain their cultural values and family affiliations. We are set to provide such an environment. Towards achievement of these objectives therefore, DWC will provide education of world class standard in an environment of care, using the best available facilities both locally and abroad, to build the next generation of leaders for our country and indeed the African continent.
“We seek to provide a platform for education that will meet, and in due course surpass, the most demanding standards available anywhere in the world. DWC is an institution that heralds a new chapter in the provision and delivery of high quality international standard secondary education in Nigeria,” it stated.