By  Emmanuel Edukugho
Children should be allowed to freely choose careers that they want to pursue based on interest and capability. Professor Ademola Onifade, one-time Dean, Faculty of Education, Lagos State University, (LASU), Ojo gave this advice as guest speaker at the Valedictory Service/Merit Award ceremony of Newland Senior Secondary School, Tolu Schools Complex, Olodi Apapa, Lagos.

He told the graduands who have just completed their secondary school education to be patient, focused and hardworkng so as to realise their ambitions in life.

Graduating students of the school (inset) Mr. Akin Afolarin, Principal
Graduating students of the school (inset) Mr. Akin Afolarin, Principal

“Be patient, parents should not force career on their children. Any career for the children should be based on interest and capability. There is nothing like good career or bad career”.

Onifade declared that “any career depends on how you handle it. Every career is good.”

Another speaker, Pastor Chibuike who gave spiritual guidance to the graduands urged them to follow the advice of God more than the advice of man, adding, “your success is ensured by your personality.”

H quoted from the Bible (Book of Judges Chapter 6) in which God told Gideon to “go in this your might.” Gideon was a brave, mighty man, gallant fighter, conqueror winner whom God ordered, “Go with all your great strength and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I myself am sending you.”

He pointed out that God knows who we are, not any other person, urging the graduands to “go in this your might.”
The pastor told them to bear four things in mind –
1) Environmental sensitivity and the need to maximise their opportunities. He recalled how late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe as a student when Aggrey ministered to him, scales fell from his (Zik) eyes left for USA to study and obtained his degrees.

Late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, of Ghana also listened to Zik and after that, he left to study in USA and returned to lead his country to independence.
2) Ability to correct all that will hinder you because society may not favour you.
3) Be a team worker. David was a great king because he had good people around him. Identify people who will spur you up. Don’t follow bad people.

4) Ancestral foundation not be allowed to influence you because one can be better than his parents.
5) Ask yourself: Who do you think you are? As a man thinketh, so it is. Have a lion heart to have a lion share. It is your own self that can maximise your chances. Be purposeful to know your path in life. Receive Jesus in your life to enable you maximise your potentials.

An Islamic cleric, Alhaji Alabi, said the graduands were going from a small world to a bigger one, with challenges to face.

“You have not yet finished your education, you will have a long way to go. Islam cherishes knowledge more to achieve your goal.

Secondary education not enough, proceed to higher institution, come closer to God, put God first, then success will come. Don’t forget God. Don’t forget your parents also, nor bite the finger that feeds you. The teachers are also paramount. Don’t abandon them, sometimes, come in to say hello to them and can always give you words of advice,”the Imam said.

Principal of the school, Mr. Akin Afolarin, in his speech welcomed everyone to the event which served the dual purposes of send forth for the outgoing graduates and to  reward outstanding ones and staff.  Saying that when he assumed duty last August, he met a well organised school with all the records properly kept, he expressed, “unqualified appreciation to Mrs. Aimienwanu my predecessor for making my burden lighter.”

Tribute was also paid to Mrs. Babatunde for initiating the sanitasation process in the college and others before him for the ‘solid foundation laid and establishment of the culture of excellence in the school.”

Afolarin said the school has increased its enrolment to 1078 students with 22 academic and two (2) non-academic staff.
The achievements of the school so far were listed, which included:
*Successful organising of a joint inter-house sports with Newland Junior Secondary School for the first time for a long time.

*Elected unopposed as the secretary of ANCOPSS AJIF zone.
*The college dramatic society came first in the district during the celebration of the World Aids Day 2008 and represented the district at the state finals, while Muslim Students Society came first in a quiz competition for schools within AJIF zone.

“The outgoing senior prefect Clifford Egbemeade was among the best three (3) who represented education district V at the state finals of this year’s JETS competition.

*On Saturday, May 23, 2009, the college won the Principal’s Cup competition which about 200 secondary schools participated throughout Lagos State. Nine members of the team are currently in the Lagos State team preparing for an Under-17 international youth championship.

*At the 2008 WASCE, Olarewaju Sikuru of the College got state award for having the third (3rd) best over-all best result in the entire Education District V.

*The complete renovation of the SSI block which had been in the state of disrepair for many years
*In athletics, six (6) students have qualified to represent the district at the state level in the preparation for the National Secondary School Sports Festival billed for Taraba State next month.

However on a sad note, the principal disclosed that an SS3 student, Dorcas Oguntokin died of typhoid fever early this year and also the former principal of Newland Junior Secondary School, Mrs. O.E. Anyantia.

According to Afolarin, one of the major problems of the school is shortage of staff as  more teachers are needed to cope with the increase in student population.

To the graduands, he congratulated them for completing their secondary education and wish them rewarding successes in future endeavours “But don’t always forget your Alma mater and always be good ambassadors of the college,” he charged them,

Academic awards were given to outstanding students in SS3 in Mathematics, English, Economics, Biology, Accounts, Commerce, Literature, History, Physics and Chemistry. The same also to SS2 students both awards were based on the last academic session.

The three best students in SS3 were; Clifford Egbemeade (Science), P. Blessing (Arts); and Alabi Opeyemi (Commercial).
In the SS2 category, the best were Cyril Amere (Science); Miss Ejimofor Ebere (Arts) and Miss O. Margaret (Commercial).

Non-academic awards were given to the neatest (male and female), the Best Behaved and the Most Punctual. Best two teachers – Mrs. Chineke (Female) and Mr. Adekeye were also rewarded. Awards also went to the Administration team of the principal, Mr. Afolarin, VP, (Academic); Mr. Akinsanya and VP (Admin); Mr. Olaseyi.

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