In light of the rampant cases of violence and kidnap of students from schools in the country, the Principal of Rainbow College, Ogun State, Mr. Adeshina Okunubi has stressed the need for schools to maintain a cordial relationship with members of the host community and its environs.
Okunubi, who made this known in a chat with THISDAY during the school’s press day recently said since the school is enveloped by the community, the management makes it a point of duty to relate well with the community so that the members will in turn look out for the school and help prevent any form of security breach.
Apart from its internal security measures and protocol, which it reviews periodically, he said the school also pays men of the community vigilante groups. It also gives back to the community by providing books and furniture for local schools; organising medical outreach for members of the community; as well as maintaining the roads and drainages and providing electricity for the community.
Buttressing the effectiveness of such a relationship, he said, “if a Rainbow College student is seen outside the school gate, within five seconds the school will get a call from a member of the community to ask what the student is doing outside.”
Commenting on the quality of education in the country, the principal said the major problem with the country’s education system is the “anything goes” mentality, which started when the government took over schools from the missionaries, but could not manage them, as well as monitor and evaluate them.
He regretted that the rot also brought mediocrity and shortcut into the system, as some persons that are not qualified to set up schools were certified to do so.
Okunubi however said such situation is not applicable to the private sector, adding that a school like Rainbow College has sustained its trend of excellence over the years. He said the school operates the Nigerian curriculum with an international flavour to enable the students excel anywhere they find themselves. “We not only focus on education, but on behaviour and other areas as we aim to raise a total child. We use the six pillars of character to train the students to be responsible, caring and be good citizens of Nigeria.
“We also try to develop their talents with extra-curricular activities and ensure that they join clubs like the fencing club, JET club, automobile club, choreography club, swimming club, basketball club, athletics club, chess club and animation club and engage in activities like dancing, sports, makeup and fashion. In fact, we represented Nigeria in the just concluded fencing championships and won medals for the country for the first time in 14 years.
We are national champions in swimming as well; we partake in activities and competitions all over the country. As a school, we have been effective in the most way we can. As we train the students, we always try to keep track of their progress. It is important to track our effectiveness so as to produce good results,” he said.
The founder of the school, Mrs. Oludolapo Odunlami, who stated that the future of any country lies more in its children and youths than in any natural resources, said the belief has sustained her passion for education more than 30 years after the establishment of her first school, Pampers Private School, Surulere, Lagos.
“Our key motivation as well as staying power is the child. Giving the child world-class education is our aim. We should endeavour to train the Nigerian child to be a better person and add value to the society. So any child that crosses the threshold of our school must be given top-notch education.”
Odunlami said the commitment has continued to yield fruits as products of the school are doing well within and outside the country.