She is an embodiment of modesty, grace, poise, humility, yet confident. With a career spanning over 35 years in the banking sector, she resigned to take up her long-nursed passion in education. Roseline Nduka, the Director and Proprietress, Multivariate Nursery and Primary Schools, Citiview Estate, Warewa Ogun State, speaks with Funmi Ogundare and Dayo Adejobi on the unique essence of her establishment and the challenges facing private schools in the country
In the last one year, what impact has your school been making on its immediate community?
We are located in an estate Citiview Estate, Warewa, Ogun State and we have our pupils drawn from there as well as from surrounding areas. Our school has impacted through the conduct of our pupils. The community can attest to children greeting right and showing good behaviour. In the pipeline, we also plan to conduct a free Mathematics clinic for children in our community as our own modest contribution to the community.
How would you categorize your school?
Based on the fact that our school is new in the system, I can say that it is a medium rated school generally, but ‘A’ school in our environment going by our facilities and standards.
How do you intend to break new grounds in terms of meeting up with the standard of schools in the same category?
Without sounding immodest, our school is unarguably and unequivocally the best in the axis. To be able to keep up the pace and standard we have set in line with global best practice, we believe in continuous training and development. We will continue to embark on providing quality training for both the management and staff. We will also continuously embark on research for new and modern methods of delivery and facilities.
Considering the fact that everyone seems to be going into the business of establishing schools for the sake of its lucrativeness, what sets yours apart?
I agree that school is a business but our school was established out of passion and zeal to add value to the education system. It was founded with the core mission to apply the results of continuous multivariate analysis. We are a centre of academic excellence, high discipline and moral standards. We produce children with strong and independent character, dignity and self-respect, and to that end, money nor pecuniary gains has never been the driving force, but impactful value to Nigeria’s education system.
What spurred you into the business of education and how passionate are you?
I went into the business of education to fulfil my passion for quality education. I want to see children start right from young age. I was not taught the right way as a child. My progress was by the special grace of God. I want the grace of God to go with the right approach. I am so passionate that I will ensure high standards at the detriment of profit by the special grace of God.
What do you see as the solution to the proliferation of sub-standard private schools?
It is unfortunate that we are in a country where people have to be chased to work with standards and obey rules. The government should continue to provide guidelines that will spell out standards, provide trainings and talk to peoples’ consciences to stick to standards. These should be followed by enforcement of standards without compromise.
What do you see as the major challenge facing the private school business?
Lack of adequate and clear guidelines as well as non-compliance lead to proliferation of schools, is a major challenge facing the private school business. Sometimes, parents are unable to distinguish between schools in terms of quality. Also, heavy taxation by the authorities especially for upcoming schools is a challenge.
What kind of curriculum does the school run and what has been the impact on its students?
We run a combination of Nigerian and British curriculum. We also adopt the Montessori method of learning for our nursery section. The impact which we are seeing already is that our children can work independently at their pace. Also, they can talk on international affairs.
Why did you choose the kind of curriculum you chose? What’s special about it?
The Nigerian curriculum is okay for strong academics but we had to combine the British in order for our children to know about the rest of the world and events at early age thereby are set to face the ever changing world.
What is the quality of your work force?
With all humility, we have a strong work force. The list qualification we can accept for employment is National Certificate in Education (NCE), but I am proud to say that currently all our teaching staff are graduates with education qualifications, some with master’s degree and other specialised education qualifications.
Education all over the world has become digital, how is your school keeping up with the information technology trend?
We are in the forefront; for no one can function effectively in today’s world without technology. Aside from having a well-equipped computer laboratory and qualified staff in charge, we are also in partnership with an Information Technology (IT) company that trains our staff and is in charge of updates on new ideas and innovations in this area.
Asides academic work, what other things do you do to create a robust learning experience for your pupils?
We have a wide range of co-curricular activities that children engage in. Some of these include creative arts, music, chess, ballet dance, karate and swimming.
Looking back, what challenges did you face in this one year of existence? Was there any time you felt like giving up?
A lot of challenges has come up during this our short period of existence. The major one being marketing, attracting parents to bring their children to come and experience our school. My aim of putting up the school is to see many children benefit from it but I have never thought of giving up because I have a strong passion for what I am doing and believe it will turn out better in future.
You seem to have a lot of qualities, some of which you have developed in the course of building your career. Which can you say has been largely responsible for your success?
My experience in administration over the years has been the major source. It has helped in staff selection and relationship building both with staff and parents as well as planning and allocating resources.