The Executive Administrator of The Foreshore School, Ikoyi, Ms. Oyindamola Egbeyemi has stressed the need for the country to place more value on teachers, saying that Nigeria cannot move forward without their input.
Egbeyemi, who said this recently at the 2019 graduation ceremony of the school, said teachers need to be empowered and the profession should be given priority in the education sector as it is done in other developing countries.
“It is extremely important that the teaching profession be taken to the highest rank as it is done in China. For instance, teachers are seen to be at the highest level in the society, but in Nigeria, we seem to brush it aside. We cannot go away from education if we want the nation to move forward.”
She expressed concern over some of the challenges facing basic education in the country, adding that her school is working closely with the Association of Private Educators of Nigeria (APEN) to organise a conference on ‘The Classroom in 2030’ so as to address the issues.
“We recognise that there are so many schools that need help in Nigeria. If we do not educate people, our future is doomed. We will be having a conference before the end of this year, when we will be inviting the ministry of education to come and experience what it is like. We need the conversation to go beyond the confines of the private schools. That is one of the initiatives we are taking.”
She expressed excitement about its first set of graduands, saying that her school has been able to raise its standards and ensured that it keeps up with current trends so as to produce children that will not have to struggle when they get into the society.
“It is a landmark for us as the parents trust us enough to keep their children here right from year one. It means a lot to us considering the care, education confidence and talents building we give to the children. I am proud to say that they will become good ambassadors of the school and will excel wherever they find themselves. The inner confidence is all that they need to excel.”
Egbeyemi, who commented on the school’s sports centre that is currently under construction, said, “we are trying to work the talk. If we are going to be globally competitive, we must have the facility that will help in building up a total child. We want to build a facility such that would help pupils get an all-round training including sports which is very important when they come to school.
“Sometimes if you have a sports skill, it could be an avenue to get scholarship. It is a way of opening opportunity for people. Not giving children the opportunity is doing them disservice; otherwise they will not be able to perform to their full potential.”
The Director, Mrs. Olubunmi Egbeyemi, who expressed excitement about the graduating year group, thanked their parents for entrusting their wards to their care and for their support over the years.
For the transiting nursery school pupils, she said, “it has been wonderful years of learning through play. I have always been an advocate for getting it right from the formative years. This is how we started Tender-loving Childcare in 2007. We have continued with the mind set and ethos of instilling a significant beginning in the children of those who have given us responsibility over the education of their children from a very young age.”
The guest speaker, Mr. John Onuminya admonished the graduands to go beyond their comfort zones and be better than who they currently are, adding that in life there is no competition in dreaming big.
“The only competition is yourself, you know what you are capable of doing and also know what to do to be greater than who you are. There is no limit to what the future has for you, no matter the type of person you want to be,” he said.