By Emmanuel Edukugho
About 106 students have graduated from Holy Child College, Obalende, Ikoyi and were sent forth in a thrilling ceremony recently inside the school hall attended by distinguished guests, parents, friends and well wishers after a Holy Mass.
Founded in 1945 by the Society of the Holy Child Jesus in Lagos at the invitation of late Archbishop Leo Taylor who wanted a good secondary education for girls in his archdiocese, with just 30 students and four Nuns, the college has become one of the most outstanding, prestigious for girls in the country, producing prominent women who are leaders in both public and private sectors of our national economy.
Currently, the population of students is over 700 receiving according to the Head Teacher, Rev. Sr. Susan Igelle, â€œinvaluable education built from social foundation of a long standing tradition of Holy Child Sistersâ€™ Education.â€
In her message to the graduating gems, she congratulated them, family and friends on the successful education at the college. â€œYou have worked steadily, diligently and coped well with all the rigors and challenges posed to you this past years. We are proud of you as you are of yourselves.
Leaving Holy Child College walls should equip you with untold opportunities to prove yourself accordingly having been formed to be dignified ladies of humility, conscience, compassion, noble and principle.â€
Igelle called on the 2009 graduates to live out the motto of the college: Action not words, and that they should not be surprised to know that â€œpeople around will judges your actions or inactions, and will form their impressions about you. It goes far to indicate that there is high expectation on you.â€
She told them that they are now the newest members of a very large community of past Holy Child students in and out of the country. â€œBe like the Child Jesus in the way you speak, the way you walk, and the way you act your good behaviour is your true identity,â€ the Rev. Sr. advised.
Okhakumhe B.I (Mrs), Sectional Head, Senior School, congratulated the outgoing students who have come a long way after six years of studies which seem to have gone like a flash of lighting with many good memories.
â€œIt has been an exploratory academic journey these past six years. Well you are at the threshold of making history. Also bear in mind that this is the most sensitive and strategic aspect of your educational lives. This is because it is your secondary school that mould your life.â€
She added that determination, hard work with prayer will get you to your success ladder.
â€œAs you go higher, you will find that life is not a bed of roses. It is full of challenges. But with God, you will get to the zenith and sail through. Though success is not measured so much by the position you have reached in life but by the obstacles you have overcome in trying to succeed.â€ (Booker T. Washington).
The Administrator of Holy Child College, Rev. Sr. Sophia Onuora, in her message, noted that the graduates have gone through different stages of growth up to adolescence. Academically, theyâ€™ve gone through kindergarten, nursery, primary, junior/senior secondary. â€œToday, you are faced with transition into the world to face the challenges and realities about life. You have been with us for 6 years.
These years exposed you to the life style of Holy Child College, you will step into the world with confidence not as a finished product, though, but with the assurance that you have what it takes to face the challenges that may come your way,â€ she said.
The guest speaker, Miss Nzenwata Chinyere Cordelia, who graduated from the college in 2007, former head girl and now a 200 level student of statistics, Abia State University, recalled her experience so far while in higher institution.
She said that the university provides large learning experience consisting of diverse persons of different culture and family backgrounds and so one must be able to adapt accordingly. She cautioned the graduands to avoid intimate relationships with boys, so as not to deviate from their goals in life and also not to become pregnant which is not good for them as young girls.
They should have confidence in themselves and ability to succeed, not just follow the crowd, or do what they see others are doing. By following others, they could fall into bad company, be lured into immoral acts. Be contented with what you have. Shun examination malpractice which is even more pronounced and prevalent in the university. You should work hard and approach examinations with confidence and not rely on cheating to succeed.â€
On cultism, Chinyere said it is still rampant in the universities with some female cultists. The outgoing students should beware of boys they keep so as not to lure them into cultism. Even female friends can entice them with beautiful gifts to get them into cults. Listen to your parents when they are advising you so as not to get into trouble.
After her speech, presentation of certificates and awards to the prefects was done by Rev. Sr. Sophia Onuora, recognised for their hardwork, good behaviour, wonderful and compassionate. There were cultural displays and dances to spice up the ceremony. The climax was the initiation rite performed for the graduates as an oath was administered on them, holding lighted candles, standing on the main podium.
Since theyâ€™ve now become members of the Holy Child College Old Girls Association (HCCOGA) they swore to uphold the ethics of Holy Child education worldwide learned in six years of studies.
Aspire to be the best in the talent given by God, love and appreciate the old girls whenever they meet in future, take part in all activities of the Old Girlsâ€™ Association and to uphold the motto of the alma mater. So help me God.
Among those present were Dr. (Mrs) Ngozi Osarenren, Edo State Commissioner for Education whose daughter was graduating,, Chief Mich C. Madueke, vice chairman PTA, Holy Child College, Pharm. Margaret Chibututu, National Secretary, Holy Child Old Girlsâ€™ Association and other guests.