As part of activities marking its 160th founder’s day, CMS Grammar School, Bariga, Lagos recently held a presidential luncheon and thanksgiving to appreciate God for the lives of its old boys who are 70 years and above.
The programme was also designed to honour its teachers who would be retiring soon.
In his remarks, the Principal of the school, Reverend Olubusola Sofekun stressed the need for government to be proactive in its actions by making education its priority and funding it appropriately because the children are the future of the nation and any society that does not give priority to education is putting the future in jeopardy.
“If they are not educated, they will not be appointed into office. During their own time, they enjoyed scholarship and many other things.”
He also said emphasis should be placed on practical skills acqusition and vocational education that would make youths to be employers of labour rather than job seekers.
“Many of our graduates are jobless because they lack vocational skills. Once they can start, many people will not be running after white collar jobs again. For instance, in this school, we do carpentry and bricklaying right from junior secondary one. So efforts should also be made towards the provision of laboratory equipment for skills acquisition in schools.”
The principal said the school has so far excuted many projects through the old students including landscaping and renovation of the hall, adding that in 2019 alone, it inaugurated 15 projects, out of which is the provision of furniture for the classrooms.
He thanked members of the Old Grammarian Society (OGS) for their support, adding that the school was able to achieve 100 per cent result in the 2019 WASSCE.
The President of OGS, Mr. Olu Vincent called on the government to bring together the critical stakeholders who have ideas to proffer solutions to the challenges confronting the sector, adding that teachers must also be motivated.
“When you pump money and the teachers are not motivated, you cannot get the best of results, let them feel that they are part of the system and appreciate what they are doing so that they can put in their best. Their salaries might not be sufficient but let them feel important.”
On how it has been since leaving the school 50 years ago, he said: “That is why the OGS is passionate about the school, government alone cannot fund education, it is a big business and the government is not putting sufficient funds into it.
“So what we try to do is to augment what the government is doing, build the capacity of our teachers and enhance the infrastructural development of the school. We are the oldest secondary school in Nigeria, so we want to continue to be the best in academics and infrastructure, that’s our target. We are also celebrating our teachers to motivate them so that it will give them the impetus to put in more effort.”
On how he has been able to manage the OGS, he said: “We have been able to do that to the extent that we can work with one another. It has not been easy getting everybody together on board. It’s a mission school and we believe firmly in the principle of the bible and we have been able to work together as a team and that is why we are seeing the results in the school.”
The programme also featured the unveiling of Akoka gates and tree planting ceremony.