By Ebele Orakpo
Amidst calls to declare a state of emergency in the Education sector, the Principal, Corona Secondary School (CSS), Agbara, Mrs. Chinedum Oluwadamilola has called for cleansing of the sector as was done in the banking sector. She regretted that education inspectors are almost always behind the time quoting “One of my dreams is that one day; there will be a thorough cleansing of the education sector just like the banking sector by Prof. Soludo.”
She made the call during the school’s 25th anniversary on November 19th and 20th. Speaking on the role of education inspectors in improving teacher quality, she said: “They ask questions about things that no longer exist so we try and explain what we are doing. You can’t be inspecting people with the aim of raising and maintaining standards and you are like two decades behind. They come but for a school like Corona, they make no difference. They feel intimidated so they don’t have anything to ask.
“Inspectors should get up-to-date education, but they are battling with so many things and that may not happen until the government takes a strong grip on education.”
The event which took place at the school premises kicked off with the 2016/2017 Speech and Prize-Giving Day, during which students and members of staff were recognised and celebrated for their excellence, achievements and good conduct through the academic year.
The second day witnessed the official commissioning of CSS, Agbara as a Pasch-Schule (partner school) of the Goethe-Institut, the second in Nigeria.
Speaking at the event which had in attendance the Consul-General, German Consulate, Lagos, Mr. Ingo Herbert and Director, Goethe-Institut, Mrs. Friederike Möschel, Mrs. Oluwadamilola said the partnership will support the study of German Language in the school; noting that the move was borne out of the need to give the students more opportunities for higher education and scholarships.
“…. in the process of searching for universities abroad, the school realised that in Germany, there is quality education with little or no tuition fees, but language is a big barrier.
“The institut has sent many materials to teach German, ordered for equipment and furniture for language room for us,” she stated.
On the school’s exploits in the past 25 years, the principal said CSS has continued to maintain its culture of excellence among staff and students.
She said CSS is the only secondary school of Corona Schools Trust Council (CSTC) and the Trust stands for world class education. “Being a Trust, the ownership structure is different, the school does not have a proprietor and it does not spare any expense in training the workforce and providing facilities for the schools, so there is this culture of continuous improvement. That is the major reason the secondary and other arms have maintained their record of excellence over the years.”
Continuing, the principal who has been with CSTC since 1994 said: “Some of our students scored A* (star) (90% and above) in seven subjects in a particular exam; a student has scored 100% in math, physics, biology and chemistry in examinations.
Our students have continued to delight us in their academic exploits; 90% made distinction in 2017 WASSCE.
Two students made 9 A1s in 2016 WASSCE, we got the best results in the world in IGCSE in English Language, Chemistry and Christian Religious Knowledge, best result in Nigeria in IGCSE Sociology, and 100% in IGCSE Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Math.
In June this year, the school was the only school in Nigeria and the 2nd in West Africa to be accredited by US-based New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) which oversees school’s improvement process to meet international standard.”
She said some of the activities of the students in public schools in the community include donation of books, construction of classroom blocks, science laboratory, home economics laboratory, toilets, bore holes, donation of furniture, etc.
“We encourage the students to use part of their pocket money. They come up with what they can do to earn money like washing cars, they wash our cars and we pay or they come up with a movie so staff will buy tickets.”
On visiting days, they sell things. They make us go to the market and buy all sorts of things and parents will buy so they raise money. That way, they take ownership of the projects.”
“We are open to opportunities, innovations; things we can do that will help our students be better equipped for life outside school,” she said.
The event attracted dignitaries from far and near including the Dean, School of Transport, Lagos State University, Prof. Samuel Odewumi; Chairman, Corona Secondary School Board, Mr. Niyi Yusuf; Chairman, Corona Schools Trust Council, Mr. Adedotun Sulaiman; Chairman/Guest Speaker of the event, Prof. Peter Okebukola; former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission and Pro-Chancellor, Crawford University; Chief Executive Officer, Corona Schools Trust Council and Mrs. Adeyoyin Adesina.