By Emmanuel Edukugho
GRADUATING students of Loral International Schools, FESTAC/Igbesa have been advised not to fully depend on their parents for what they want, but to allow themselves the pleasure of some hardship and challenges.
Guest Speaker at the combined 15th Graduation ceremony of the schools held last Saturday in the Festac Town Campus School Hall, Mr. Chidi Otumba, a Managing Consultant and CEO, Treasure Hall Consulting, Lagos, said that it is an irony of life and yet a truism that well protected, pampered and â€˜butteredâ€™ children usually fail to make significant achievements in life.
He named some of the worldâ€™s greatest men and women like Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ford, Barack Obama, Thomas Edison, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Gani Fawehinmi, Wole Soyinka, (Golda Meir), Chinua Achebe, Philip Emeagwali, Chief Ral and Lady Lorita Nwosu (founders of the school) and asked:
â€œWho were their parents? Were they affluent people who insulated them from the vagaries of life? How many of the children of presidents and Head of State are on the list of celebrated achievers in the world?
The Graduands were then admonished in these words:
â€œDonâ€™t ask your parents for everything challenge yourself and learn to accomplish wholesome projects on your own and learn to take pride in what you can do rather than bask in the glory of your parentsâ€™ achievements. Gold does not achieve its true worth unless it is refined by being subjected to the heat of fire.â€
In the speech titled â€“ Mind your future, Otumba said the future is one denominator that is common to all present at the ceremony, both graduating and â€˜graduatedâ€™ students
â€œTruly, all of us are students of some kind. We stop learning only when we die. As secondary school graduating students, your life is like an open book with only a handful of pages written. Basically, your life is a product of your own making. It is not the circumstances of your birth, it is not the stars, it is not a product of your parentsâ€™ wealth or lack itâ€.
According to him, â€œit is you â€” your attitude, your mental disposition, your actions and inactions that would influence and shape the rest of your life.|
He explained that the choice of subjects during secondary education will largely determine what courses they will offer in the university and by extension, what profession they will practice for the rest of their life â€” whether Accountancy, Law, Medicine, Engineering, etc.
His ten suggestions for the graduands were â€” Avoid â€˜Ajeboâ€™ pitfall; Avoid Mind Altering substances; Avoid Idlenes/Laziness, Always stay on the right side of the law; Be morally upright; Obey the Golden Rule, and by the way, your parents; Donâ€™t spare the midnight oil â€” burn it; Donâ€™t forget your compass; Be cheerful with life; and Remember your creator.
Chairman of the occasion, Elder Mbakam Odungide, represented by his wife, Mrs. Nkoyo Odungide, noted that the Graduands have come a very long way up to this moment but they still have more rungs of the ladder to climb in life.
â€œAs you climb the remaining rungs of the ladder of life, I want you to know that, the person who youâ€™re always with most in life is yourself, and if you donâ€™t like yourself, you/re always with somebody you donâ€™t like.â€
Like the turtle, in order to move, he said that the graduating students have to stick their necks out.
â€œThere will be challenges and instead of hiding in a shell, you have to go out and meet them,â€ adding, â€œwhenever you have to knock on doors, knock until your knuckles bleed if they have to know that doors will slam in your face.â€
The Senior Principal, Mrs. Uzuegbunam, told the gathering that the students have been found worthy in character and learning at this level of their educational pursuit.
â€œToday, we are not only here to make assertions and to acknowledge the individual achievements of these celebrators who have successfully completed their course of study in Loral and excelled in various areas of human endeavor, but also to celebrate the schoolâ€™s efforts in providing and fostering a holistic, inspiring and motivational high quality education.â€
She commended the management for providing huge investment for functional education on both Festac and Igbesa Campuses, quoting Benjamin Franklin who said that, â€œan investment in knowledge always pays the best interestâ€.
The Senior Principal paid tribute to Sir and Lady Ral Nwosu for their kind gestures to the services of humanity, especially in founding Loral International Secondary Schools and in the upbringing of â€œfuture disciplined leaders and job creation irrespective of ethnicity or nationality.â€
She also praised the teachers, parents and guardians for their efforts, commitment and dedication for the achievements so far.
About 87 graduating students left the school and were honoured in the graduation ceremony that involved valedictory service well attended by parents, teachers, guardians, friends and well wishers. Prizes were given to deserving graduands for academic achievements, overall best students in arts, science, commercial, outstanding prefects, neatest students, and best behaved.
There were cultural displays, dance, music interlude and drama performed by the students which added so much colour and glamour to the ceremony.