‘Sustained Quality Education, Panacea for Underdevelopment’

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Leslie Oghomienor

Mary Nnah

The Chair, Board of Education, Barca Academy Nigeria, Mr. Leslie Oghomienor, has expressed the view that sustained qualitative education is the answer to national development, unity, peace and security in the country.

He observed that globally in recent times, statistics has shown that countries with high GDPs and viable economic indices are nations with high education index, many of which are enjoying relative internal peace and security. These nations, he stressed are abounding across the world.

He added that for Nigeria to attain greater heights as a strong nation, it direct its energy to providing quality education that guarantees greater future for the entire society where everything works for the good of all.
“When you invest in quality education of the child, you are indirectly developing the nation and curbing vices of all forms, assuring peace and security.”

Oghomienor, stressed that Nigeria has, in all its ramifications, what it takes to be in the top class of this society in the community of nations, is among the passionate and committed patriots, who not only desires the best for the future – the Nigerian child- but is making huge contributions through financial support and creating platforms that is beyond education.

These platforms he said “teach excellent and endurable leadership values that would make the child not only a better person, but selfless, peaceful and patriotic individual, as a cornerstone for building a strong enviable and viable peaceful nation bound not only in freedom, but unity and well distributed wealth.”

He said it is humanly rewarding for a responsible and selfless corporate citizen and individual with the capacity to invest in the future of the community she operates and live respectively for their own benefit, adding that it is difficult for business and life to strive in a troubled environment.

“Our sole intent is helping in our own little way in the good upbringing and education of our children in consonance with the efforts of government in the achievement of a viable and peacefully united country. Bearing in mind that it is impossible to make meaningful progress in the midst of things that injure our peaceful collective existence as a nation,” he noted.

This informed his parley with the media recently in Lagos after the board’s strategic meeting to start the 2019/2020 academic year. For this session, the academy’s focus is ‘Leave no Child Behind’. This he said would be the hub of the wheels that would drive the vision of the academy in agreement with the ideals and cultures of its strategic partners, with top notch institutions with remarkable international standard procedures and facilities.

“We arrived at this point of direction after a rigorous analysis and thorough and wide consultations with all our partners, for it fits with our long-term plan and vision of nurturing and raising selfless leaders who are bound to serve as the cornerstones of the expected wealthy and peaceful nation with unity and love as the mantra,” Oghomienor said.

He explained that the academy in Nigeria also believe to be the best in the country and first in sub-Saharan Africa, is poise to change the norms for greater things that would add value to the human society and the child through the award of scholarships especially to girls to further the vision of Blaugrana Group International and the ideals and mission of the Legends for Children Project.

Understand Language of Maths to Excel, Cowbellpedia Contestant Tells Students

A contestant in the on-going season five of the Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics Television Quiz, Miss Aminat Lawal has stated that students can only succeed in mathematics if they understand its language- formula – this she described as a concise way of expressing its information symbolically.

Lawal, a student of Seolad International College, Mowe, Ogun State, explained that mathematics is straight forward unlike other subjects that one needs to memorise.
“All that is needed is to know the formula to the mathematical problem. In brief, mathematical formulas provide two things: reusable frameworks and the ability to quantify veracity. Apart from accuracy and speed, mathematical formulas brought me this far”, she said.

Lawal, who qualified for the semi-finals alongside Samuel Eziukwu of Dority International Secondary School, Aba, Abia State in the junior category, Group H (week eight) contest, was hopeful of a good outing as the competition progresses.

Those who did not make it were Fredrick Ereremena of Challenge Academy, Warri, Delta State; Muhammad Abubakar from Blue Crescent Secondary School, Mabra, Sokoto State; Olaoluwayinmika Bada of Model Secondary School, Obaile, Akure, Ondo State and Gwaknan John of Nigerian Tulip International College Kaduna State.

In the senior category, Master Paschal Ohagwu of His Grace High School, Enugu State and Master Tochukwu Enyinna of University of Nigeria Secondary School, Nsukka, Enugu State clinched the two available semi-final tickets.
Those, who did not cross the hurdle, were Chukwuka Charlse of Arch Deacon Nwosu Memorial Secondary School, Ozubulu, Anambra State and Asika Chino of Marist Brothers’ Juniorate, Uturu, Abia State.

They defeated Abdurrashid Hashim of Abubakar Sadiq School Complex, Kano State and Yusuf Khalid of Gobarau Academy, Katsina State
Ohagwu affirmed that speed and accuracy are important in the contest, but his reliance on mathematical formula gave him an edge. He expressed hope of emerging the champion to make his parents proud.
This year’s edition is said to be living up to expectation in terms of excitement and reward as promised by the organisers in line with the goal of “nurturing great inventors”.

The quiz show will run for 13 weeks and is divided into nine preliminary stages and three semi-finals before the grand finale in November 2019.

Aside the N2 million grand prizes, the Managing Director of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers by Cowbell Milk, Mr. Anders Einarsson, disclosed that the winner in each of the categories will enjoy an all-expense paid educational excursion abroad at the end of the initiative.

In addition, the first and second runners-up in each category will receive N1.5 million and N1 million respectively, while the teachers of the winners will be awarded N500,000. Those of the first and second runners-up will receive N400,000 and N300,000 respectively.

Corona School Propagates Healthy Living, Launches Fitness Centre

The need for parents, teachers and staff of Corona Secondary School, Agbara to imbibe healthy lifestyles by eating healthy diets, observing regular exercises and going for regular medical check-ups was emghasised at the maiden Health and Fitness Week, organised recently at the school premises. The school also unveiled a new fitness centre. Sunday Ehigiator reports

The place of healthy living among people cannot be over-emphasised just as regular exercise plays a key role in combating diseases and mental health in human endeavours. It was against this backdrop that Corona Secondary School, Agbara, Ogun State recently propagated its gospel beyond the four walls of classrooms, as it organised its maiden fitness event with the theme ‘Health and Fitness Week’, which was attended and observed by parents, staff and students of the school. The occasion was used to open a new gym house for teachers and staff of the school.

The week-long event, which began on October 6, 2019, had both internal and external fitness trainers taking participants through a set of routine aerobic exercises on the open field of the school, before sunrise, on each of the days. Even as some other participants sweat it out at the school’s gym centres.

Speaking with THISDAY, the Principal, Mrs. Chinedum Oluwadamilola said “health is paramount. We at Corona want children to do well in their examinations, as well as grow up as responsible adults in a healthy body.

“Exercise and fitness have been known to pump oxygen into the brain so that brain cells can function very well, and it is also good to start having healthy feeding habits, regular exercise, very early in life.

“And there is no better way to start it than in school. This shouldn’t be confused with sports because it is not about sports, it is just to exercise the body and that is important to us. When we were young, we played outside. In today’s world, and with children from certain economic demographics, they stay indoors, get out from an air conditioned home into an air conditioned car, and hardly do any physical exercise. None of them is trekking to school, or trekking to market or running errands by just walking a distance. And it is not just the children from higher economic demographics. When we were young, there were no tricycles and motorcycles.

“Hence, not only are we promoting it, we want it to be a culture, and this culture should be also from home that is why we are involving the parents. So you can see that they came in their fitness attire, and we urged them to bring healthier options of meal, which they all did. “And as you know, a healthy body would beget a healthy mind,” she said.
Oluwadamilola added that academics have to do with the mind and if the body is weak, sluggish, deceased in some cases, a child will not be able to do anything.

On the importance of exercise, she said: “Exercise helps with sleep for instance, going to bed and not being able to sleep, a child is not going to get to class the next morning and be able to listen, study, or assimilate properly. So we expect a habit of exercise on a daily basis would improve sleep which is proven by research and that would transform to the child’s brain by making him able to assimilate properly and being at alert.
“This exercise, though our maiden, would be held every term and will be incorporated in all the three terms,” she said advised parents to integrate it as part of their children’s routine after school.

Also speaking with THISDAY, the guest speaker and a parent, Dr. Afonume Okwe said the essence of the week was to make the children, parents and staff to imbibe the culture and the lifestyle of staying fit and healthy
According to her, the benefits of exercise include helping to control weight; it helps to curtail a lot of diseases like breast cancer and all other forms of cancers. “And if you are a diabetic patient, it also helps you better manage your blood sugar.

“Aside exercise, 80 per cent of your weight and being healthy is actually tied to your diet and you cannot exercise a bad diet. Hence, if you are not eating right, no matter how much you exercise, you are still going to be unhealthy.”

At the official launch of the fitness centre, the PTA Chairman, Olusola Falodun said: “It is also to encourage them to embrace the fact that living healthy should be a way of life. We all want to live long and be able to witness some events in our lives as we grow old.

“Basically, a healthy individual would be productive and for the teachers and staff, if their productivity is improved as a result of living healthy, we would see the effects on the performance of our children, both in academics and in extracurricular activities.

“So there are three things I would like to emphasis as a recommendation to all parents and teachers. One is to ensure that they check their blood pressure regularly, Secondly, they should endeavor to go for regular medical checkups in the clinics, at least, once a year. And lastly, they should reduce the consumption of red meat. If they can do these three things, it would go a long way in improving their lifestyles.
An ex-student, who doubles as a fitness trainer, Mr. Seun Fadina also spoke to the student about benefits of water to the body and the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“Water helps you in a lot of ways. When you take water first thing in the morning, it helps you keep hydrated through the day and you should drink more as the day goes by. It helps your heart and general immune system to work properly. So even if you still would be exercising which also has several benefits, taking moderate quantity of water before exercise is very good for the body.

On the benefits of regular exercise, he said: “It is good for your heart and lungs. It improves your muscular fitness and making you confident. But for me, wellness and fitness is really not all about physicality, there is an internal effect you have to know. The same way you take supplements and they start to work first from the inside, before being evident on the outside that is how benefits of exercise and living healthy also start from the inside.

“However, everything you do in life should be about moderation, even healthy diets could cause issues in your body system if it is abused. And exercise is to the body just as petrol is to car.”
Fadina admonished the student to maximize the week-long health and fitness week, even as they endeavor to drink water regularly and stay free of preserved foods.

Sharing her thoughts with THISDAY on how impactful the exercise has been to her after the day’s aerobic exercise, a student, Fayobomi Olusola-Falodun said “I feel good and refreshed. Exercise is very good for everyone; it is very refreshing and nice. And being the maiden edition, it is very welcoming and should be sustained. I would advise all students to take advantage of this week to drink a lot of water, fruits, eat healthy, sleep well, and exercise every day.

Another student, Willabelle Iribhogbe said: “It feels really good to have participated in this exercise. I feel like, if I should write a test now, I will score all As. My mind is open and I feel happier. I would advise that this exercise should be made more constant for us, even after the week. I mean aside our sports days, a day should be dedicated for health and fitness every week. I will advise my co-students to maximize the facilities that the school has provided for us. It is really going to help them in their studies and general wellbeing,” she stated.

10 Schools for Felabration Debate Finals

A total of 10 secondary schools in Lagos State will participate in this year’s Felabration Secondary Schools Debate with the topic: ‘Persons above the Age 70 Should not be Allowed to Contest Political Positions’.

According to the organisers, the debate, which holds today at the Freedom Park, Lagos, is designed to sensitise teenagers early to the environmental issues around them. “Fela in whose honour Felabration holds, was very particular about teenagers. He believed in the power of the youth, particularly teenagers towards effecting the desired societal changes.”

The participating schools comprise five public and five private schools, “however, on the rostrum, the schools are mixed on both sides of the divide. Meaning that both the private and public schools are represented in the pros and cons of the debates.”

The schools are: Greensprings School, Anthony Village; Ronic Comprehensive College, Ejigbo; Vivian Fowler Memorial College, Ikeja; Baptist Academy, Obanikoro; and Rainbow College, Surulere (the defending champion).
Others are: Ipakodo Senior Secondary School, Ikorodu; Epe High School; Randle Senior Secondary School, Surulere; Oregun Senior Secondary School, Oregun-Ojota; and Oke Odo Senior Secondary School, Agege.

They will be judged by Chief Chris Borha, Mr. Kunle Bakare (publisher), Mrs. Morayo Afolabi-Browne (TV presenter/producer), Ms. Jumoke Alawode-James (media personality/producer) and Mrs. Nyma Akashat-Zibri (lawyer/TV personality).
Renowned radio personality, Mr. Steve Onu popularly known as ‘Yaw’ will moderate the event.
The winning prize this year is a bass guitar and a digital combo. This is in line with Felabration’s mission to develop music at the childhood stages. Over the years, various music instruments like the keyboards, drum set, among others were presented to the winning school.