By Emeka Aginam
Brand Edge is concluding arrangements to organise the first ever top Nigerian Private Secondary Schools (NPSS) education fair next month in the United Kingdom.
The fair, according to the organizers will hold at the London Excel Centre in the United Kingdom.
The role of the Education Fair is to help parents in the diaspora meet with experts from these schools, get answers to their questions and present their kids for interview.
The Managing Director, Brand Edge Limited, Mr Femi Akinwunmi in a press conference in Lagos ahead of the fair told news men that Private Secondary Schools in Nigeria have over the years established themselves to the standards of top schools all over the world.
These Schools, he said offer British or mixed curriculum with emphasis on developing the innate skills of their students and results have shown that their students go on to outshine foreign students in Universities all over the world.
These top Nigerian Private Secondary Schools, according to him, will conduct on-the-spot interviews, tests and offer admission to thousands of kids living in the UK with the hope of giving them a renewed educational experience.
While expressing optimism that if properly harnessed, the education sector can become an inflow of foreign earnings which will provide more jobs; awaken other sectors like the real estate and ultimately boost the country’s economy while reducing complete reliance on crude oil as the country’s sole major product export, Akinwunmi called for government’s support and help with the initiative which cannot be left completely to the private sector because of the great potentials that abound especially in the space of educational tourism development in Nigeria.
According to Mr Akinwunmi, ideation for the fair is precipitated on the desire to transform lives of Nigerian youths living in the diaspora.
“Research has shown that kids in their teens are very impressionable with a great tendency for distraction. The greatest burden is the legal realities, as they cannot exert full authority and discipline in line with African values.
“Realising the power they have in their hands, kids exploit it maximally and if care is not taken, they lose the essence of their being. Lastly, is the difficulty these hard working parents have in keeping their kids focused on a decent career path”, he explained.
A case in point, he said is the President of the United States, Barrack Obama whose relocation from his childhood community in the United States to Honolulu transformed his life. His escape from the pressure of the environment he grew up changed his life and mind-set, today, we know the story. He made it into an Ivy League school, married a decent woman, and went on to become the first black American President.
Akinwunmi said, “We have schools that are already replicating the Obama story in Nigeria – impacting the right set of cultural values; discipline, respect, guidance etc. that help these children’s integration into the university.
Most of the Schools belong to APEN, Association of Private Educators in Nigeria and have sacrificed a lot over the years to maintain international standard with great personnel sourcing and training, secured and well equipped learning facilities, homely boarding facilities and a lot more. All to ensure that Nigeria holds her head high in the global education space.
Earlier, flagging off the countdown to the maiden edition of the fair, Mrs Ajoke Gbeleyi, Director of Private Education and Special Programmes in the Lagos State Ministry of Education, commended the organisers for their unrelenting effort at proving to the world that Nigeria has a marketable product in education. She assured them of the state government’s continuous support in ensuring that education takes its pride of place in the scheme of things.
In her address, Mrs Olajumoke Chukwumah, Director, Children’s International School, corroborated Mr Akinwunmi’s sureness that Nigerian schools compete with the best in the world in terms of standard of education they provide; quality of teachers; and infrastructure they put in place. She added that these schools raise the bar even further by ensuring that ideals like discipline, respect, empathy, etc are at the core of their teaching bearing in mind their place in the achievement of a purposeful life.
Some of the top Nigerian schools for the fair are; Children’s International School Lekki, Chrisland College, Grange School, Corona School, British International School, Day Waterman, Caleb International, Marella International Group of Schools Ibadan, Atlantic Hall and a host of others.