The belief that the Nigerian education system still posseses the potential to develop students who are culturally and academically sound was further reiterated at the 2013 Corona Secondary, Agbara graduation and valedictory service where Kehinde and Abayomi Kukoyi, a couple based in London decided to bring their daughter to Nigeria to do her secondary education, when among most Nigerian parents the reverse is the case.
The couple, while speaking to Journalists after the graduation of their daughter, explained that the decision to bring their daughter to Nigeria to study was because they saw the need to give her the opportunity to gain moral and cultural upbringing which the Nigerian school system gives which is not present abroad.
According to them, “A lot of Nigerian children morals are well misplaced over there in the UK and we felt it will be wise for our daughter to have the moral and cultural background which we her parents had.
“By allowing our daughter come to Nigeria to do her secondary education, we wanted to through her showcase the type of talent that schools in Nigeria can produce, an exemplary bunch of young ladies and men,” they said.
Speaking further, Abayomi, the mother of Titilope Kukoyi, the outgoing head girl of Corona Secondary School, encouraged parents that instead of shipping their children overseas for study, they should “allow them study in Nigeria in order for them to learn our culture.
“We need to emphases to Nigerians that no matter what, home is where is at, it is where we should all be, you can live in any country, but you should not forget where you are from and the value that the education system adds,” she said.
At the well structured event with the theme, ‘Veni, Vidi, Vici’, 71 students graduated with Ifeolutembi Fashina emerging as the valedictorian while Chinonyelum Azikiwe and Ganiyat Seriki emerged second and third runner up respectively.
Ifeolutembi Fashina, who scored 6A stars in the IGCSE examination while sharing the secret of her success with BusinessDay said she doesn’t spend more than an hour to study at a time. “I take an hour, take a break because my attention gets lower the longer I spend so after an hour of reading, I take a break to go and gist and then come back and read.”
Fashina aspires to study Forensic Science at the University of Toronto, Canada or Trinity College, Dublin because of her love for investigation and the sciences, adding that she hopes to get involved with peoples live to add value.
On how she overcame peer pressure, she hinted: “You have to believe in yourself, believe in your God and believe in where you are coming from.
“I am blessed to have friends who encouraged me to read and give my best in all that I do. Even when I can’t help them with their academic or social activities, they always reminded me that I have helped them in other ways. We pull each other together,” she added.
She further revealed that her greatest competitor has being herself. According to her, “your worst enemy is yourself. I believe that to succeed, you have to first deal with yourself to do your best.” She advised students on the need to pray hard, be close to one another and listen to their heart.
On her part, her mother, Oguntoye Mejiuni expressed happiness at her daughter’s achievement. According to her, “My daughter is a wonderful child. As a parent, I enjoy the fact that she is my daughter, I can talk with her intelligently at any level. In spite of the fact that this is mother-daughter relationship, she understands whatever you are talking to her about and she will listen even though she is a child. She is highly considerate. She is respectful of other people’s opinions and feelings; that is why I said she is a wonderful child.”
She lauded the school for being a good school because of the commitment on the part of the teachers and school administrator. “I see also on their part hard work in pushing the children to fulfil their potentials,” she said.
Earlier, Bukola Adebiyi, chairman, Corona Secondary School Advisory Board, in her speech to the graduating students urged them to imbibe the values of integrity, high moral standard, hard work as they face the challenges that lies ahead of them.
In her words, “As you move to the next stage of your life, you will meet different challenges that you have to conquer. The kind of challenges you face may be more tasking and you have to be focused and determined and hardworking to be able to overcome the challenges that you meet.”
Adebiyi tasked the outgoing students to bear in mind that their attitude to the challenges they meet on their way will determine their altitude, adding that whatever situation they find themselves they need to bold, confident and outspoken.
“Success is not only about financial rewards; bear that in mind especially in the country we live in today where corruption is so high. Do not get caught in vices, remember your identity, your background, the sleepless nights that you have put in to get to this stage,” she said.