Sunday Okobi and Fumi Obamuyi
Laureate College has made societal value and hard work its talking point at this yearâ€™s Christmas carol programme. At the 10th edition of this yearâ€™s Christmas Carol and nine lessons which was held at the school premises at Mafoluku, Oshodi in Lagos State recently, the school said the programme was to instill the doctrine of Jesus Christ, which includes love, societal value, hard work, peace, culture among other virtues.
The proprietress of the college, Dr. Mrs. Olatokunbo Shomolu, told THISDAY that her love to impact knowledge and see people do well in life spurred her and her late husband to establish the school, adding that â€œthe purpose of what we have seen here today is to remind us of the birth of Jesus Christ and it significance. We are Christians, and the sole of all these is Christ our Saviour!
â€œThe birth of Jesus is so significant to us that we have to support the children to do something special in creating the awareness that will stay with them forever. It is also a time to be together to fellowship with God with singing and dancing among other things like short plays, storytelling and talk shows. It is also a time of joy, love, peace, as well as to teach the student the essence of value and hard work in life.â€
Shomolu, who is a Civil Structural engineer by training, said contrary to the insinuation that Nigerian educational standard has fallen, â€œI donâ€™t really think so because a lot of our children are now smarter and faster in learning. The only problem I see today is that the system (society) generally is in a state of decadence, and this somehow affects the children naturally but the children are learning faster more than before. So for me, the standard of education is not falling.â€
She however noted that immorality in the society is so high that it has beclouded the true gains of the modern day education, adding that just like Laureate College, all hands must be on deck to correct the ills in the society and make the future brighter for the young ones.
According to her, â€œIn Laureate College, we have good children rooted in core values of life, well grounded in hard work for excellence, but we donâ€™t forget that thereâ€™s still that larger societal effect. In our students, we instill the culture of values and hard work, and that only these can get you excellence. We donâ€™t believe in cutting corners. We also have a well-structured pattern and rules to guard against any bad egg who would want to pollute our system because he or she is influential in the larger society.â€
Also, one of the invited guests and an arts icon in Nigeria, Bruce Onobrakpeya, echoed Shomolu, saying the programme was a kind of thanksgiving by the school in honour of Christ and to herald His birth, and that it is a season of thanks to God for being kept alive over the last 12 months.
â€œItâ€™s a period of recounting and rededication to life and whatever progress we have made,â€ he noted, adding that â€œthe Christmas Carol is a kind of rejuvenation and prayer of long life and wellbeing for the years to come. These are the significances of todayâ€™s programme.â€
Onobrakpeya, who has many works of arts for Nigerian students and the literature community to his name, commended the school proprietress for establishing a school like Laureate College which he said is known for instilling values, hard work and excellence in the students.
He further stated that the basic thing about all these is training. The artist posited that training students in school, at home and with ICT would bring out the value for hard work, adding that the parents, leaders and other stakeholders need to put in more efforts to groom the young ones in the right ways in order to bring out the value system in them.
Onobrakpeya said: â€œAlso, the culture which is a part of our collective behaviour changes, but as we train our students, and as parents uphold the values at home and direct their children in the right way, the society would be better for all, and this is the essence of the Christmas Carol and nine lessons.â€
How the Christmas Carol can impact on the children, he said the Carol is a religious programme, which is a confirmation of Christian doctrine-the bible reading, the chorus, the music-all have lessons â€œwhich would be imbibed by the children to take way for better living. So whatever is said here, the recitation, the music, the talks, they are all prepared to help the children grow in Christ-like manner to be better citizens in life.â€