Following the demands for a day school amidst maintaining the school’s success history and all-round excellence, Nigerian education sector got a boost when on September 28, 2020, the Corona Schools’ Trust Council unveiled the Corona Day Secondary School, Lekki, Lagos. It was an epic making occasion in the life of the 65-year-old institution. Sunday Ehigiator reports
With a clear vision to be of of Nigeria’s leading educational institution, focused on and dedicated to producing well-rounded and proudly Nigerian young men and women equipped for continuous learning, personal mastery, and leadership, the Corona Schools brand has strategically continued to innovate and evolve with the times to suit its students and publics.
The school which has been in existence for 65 years, has continued to pride itself in excellence and stayed true to its mission of providing world class education to children, with its latest being a day secondary school.
Located within sprawling premises of Corona Schools in Abijo’s Government Residential Areas (GRA), Lekki-Epe Express Way, the school which permanent site’s construction will kick off anytime soon within the same axis, is also expected to continue to inculcate high moral and ethical values in students, and prepare them for a lifelong learning, service and fulfillment.
In attendance at the ceremony were Financial Controller, Corona Schools’ Trust Council (CSTC), Mr. Adewale Soremi; Chairman, Board of Trustees, Corona Secondary Schools, Mr. Niyi Yusuf; Member, Governing Board, CSTC, Mrs. Sekinat Yusuf; Chairman, CSTC, Justice Bukunola Adebiyi; Trustee, CSTC, Mr. Adedotun Sulaiman; Chief Executive Officer, CSTC, Mrs. Adeyoyin Adesina; the Principal, Corona Secondary School, Agbara, Ogun State, Mrs. Chinedum Oluwadamilola; School Adminstrator, Corona Day Secondary School, Lekki, Mr. Anthony Ilobinso; Director of Education, Mrs. Dafeta Amelia, parents, staff members, well wishers and pioneer students.
In her remarks, Justice, Adebiyi said the idea of the Corona Day Secondary School was part of the schools strategic plan which was drawn in the 2003/2008 to expand Corona Schools.
“At that time, Lekki Schools which is where we are presently, started as a temporary location while this edifice that we are in today was being constructed. And we are able to move to this edifice in 2014.
“The idea of starting a day secondary school has been on the front burner for a while. We had parents who had clamoured for this. As we are aware, our secondary school is in Agbara,vwhich is not actually in Lagos State, but Ogun State. And it’s not all parents that want their children to be in boarding school, even as beautiful as our boarding school is.
“Corona Secondary School, Agbara has been in existence for 25 years and has been delivering world class education to many in a serene, safe, friendly and top notch environment. We at Corona therefore are not new to secondary education.”
Adebiyi noted that the day secondary school is simply an expansion of the schools expertise in the delivery of secondary education. “We have the experience, the facility, the personnel and proven track records in secondary education in this country.”
She said the school is starting at the facility of the existing Corona Lekki School, adding that in addition to the building released to the day school, preliminary works have begun on the land.
“The designs are in and very soon, construction would commence on the permanent site for the secondary school. Due to setbacks suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic, the two years projection that we initially had to deliver the permanent site might not be feasible. However, within two-and-a-half years, God willing, the permanent site of the secondary school should be ready,” she said.
In his remarks, Sulaiman reflected on how special the accomplishment was for him and the school in general. “For me, today is a very special day because I have been fully involved in the development of this school. It is like a dream come true.
“My association with Corona started 35 years ago, where my first set of children, two girls attended Corona School in Victoria Island. Those two girls would be 40 years old in December by God’s grace.
Then they had two younger sisters that went to Corona Schools. So, all my children went to Corona.”
According to Sulaiman, the whole idea of the day school is to give parents a choice. “There is always this conversation about the merits and demerits of boarding education. We in the Corona system now have a choice. We could either bring our children to school daily or leave them at the boarding school.”
He thanked the pioneer parents of the school for entrusting their children to the school, and assured them that “by the time the children are leaving here, you would be proud of this singular decision of bringing them here, as you have made.”
Addressing the pioneer students and parents who were present at the occasion, Yusuf said there was no way the history of the day school would be written “that you will not be mentioned. So I count you as very special.
“It is no longer news that Ibeju-Lekki is the new Lagos, hence it is just ideal that we bring to it the culture of excellence. At Corona, we do more than academics. We develop children in a 360 format. We develop them in sports, presentations, technology, modesty, leadership, character and community services.
“We inculcate the attitude of giving back and helping the needy into our students so that they grow up with an attitude of giving and improving their environment for the good of all. Very soon, our environment would start benefiting and feeling the impact of our community service. Our students have also taken a good share in the use of technology. No Corona child was left behind. They all took their courses digitally even as the world continues to battle the corona-virus pandemic.
“We also have Corona College of Education where we train all our teachers and aspiring students who choose teaching as a profession and very soon, we would be metamorphosing into Corona University of Education,” he said.
While introducing parents and other stakeholders to the management team of Corona Day Secondary School, Adesina said the CDSS team was “carefully put together.” They are all accomplished educators. Most have been drawn from our schools to ensure that the excellence culture, tradition and quality of the brand is replicated.
“We have also infused fresh perspectives by engaging and adding highly qualified teachers to the faculty. We are proud of the CDSS team.”
She thanked the trustees and the schools management for their tenacity, commitment and dedication to the institution.
In an interview with THISDAY, Ilobinso revealed that his plans for CDSS is to make it an environment where learning is nurtured and where students’ interests and talents are discovered and groomed. “CDSS is purely hinged and anchored on the schools’ mission and vision statement. We have a legacy of providing world class education to students. We have a service that is trusted by generations of parents.
“So we have put in place students, structures and even the personnel required in achieving this. We have fantastic staff and professionals who understand what the Corona brand stands for. We have a lot of technology tools and wonderful facilities available to our students.
“And we know after six years, our students will come out here being well-rounded and getting set and prepared for the next steps in their academic journey and trajectory. So it is a great one for us.”
A parent, simply identified as Mrs. Onome said, “being one of the pioneer parents is exciting and I am very happy to be a part of this great project. Coming here, I think I also key into the standard of the Corona School, excellent education, and all round grooming of my child. Basically I have a child here already and we are already working on bringing the others. I believe in Corona and its academic excellence.”
One of the pioneer students, Oghenemaro Odiete said she is excited to be among the pioneer students and expressed hope of improving academically. “My expectations are that I’ll be groomed to be very confident in myself so that I will be able to do and win competitions and perform excellently in my academics.”
Another student, Mudiaga Adjogda also expressed hope that upon joining the school, he would be groomed into discovering his passion. “I feel great being here and I believe as a part of this secondary school, I can go far in life. The future is bright and I believe being here, I would be effectively guided to attain success.”
The high point of the ceremony was the tour of the school, led by the administrator. Guests and council members were all taken through the walls of the beautiful looking and digitally equipped learning environment of the school. Also visited were well equipped and functional laboratories, among other facilities in the school.