It was a moment of tears, laughter, hugs and clinking of glasses while reminiscing about their journey of six years confined within the walls of Bethlehem Girls School in Abule-Ado, Lagos as boarders.
For these 39 teenage girls and graduands, the ceremony called for a hearty thanksgiving service and a toast to their freedom into the society.
“Yes, today is a time to be thankful, having come to the end of this part of their lives in secondary school. That new phase is transition,” the Administrator, Henrietta Alokha said.
She recalled the student’s entry into the college in 2013. “They came into Bethlehem Girl’s college innocent, naive and probably with high expectations and a drive to achieve excellence”.
While cheering the girls, Alokha, also a Reverend Sister, reminded them of their years spent within the walls of the school.
Her words: “You must have gone through challenges that are peculiar to your age, and probably wonder if you can survive outside. Yes, you can. In all, put God first for your academic excellence.”
Speaking also, the best graduating student, Esther Anako, narrated her countless experiences including the good, the bad and the very ugly. “We had our ups and downs here but it was definitely worth the while”.
Although not a bed of roses as she envisaged, she soon coped with the strict Catholic education system before her. “Among the challenges was waking up at 4am daily. But as time went on, it became part of me”.
Although the 17-year-old wants to study Software Engineering (SE) her parents advised she studied computer Science in Nigeria since SE is only available abroad.
As the mass rolled on smoothly, Chairman PTA BGC, Mr. Isaac Ogidi, hailed the school for a successful graduation of the second set from senior class three.
He said: “This school is modelled in such a way that every girl that passes through it is given a rounded education: academics, moral, social and everything that will make her fit into the society and not lose her head in the stream of the anomalies.”
Legal Adviser to the PTA, Mr. Dave Anako, succinctly expressed fulfillment over his daughter’s exceptional performance as best graduating student.
“I feel excited because my daughter has been here successfully for six years and she emerged the best graduating student.”
As a parent and legal adviser to the PTA of the school, Anako commended the school administration for a job well-done. “The two values of the school on the children are: character and learning. For me, if a child gets those two features, it’s okay, then the fear of God.”