IF you have ever thought it is impossible for any Nigerian parent to withdraw his child from a school inb the US or the UK for a school in Nigeria, then you are about to read of the possibility: A former Senate president, Senator Adolphus Wabara, did so.
Wabara, while in the Senate as Senate President, and number three citizen of Nigeria with all the special privileges, brought his son, Samuel Wabara, from the US to Greensprings School, Anthony Campus. That was where the boy was until he graduated in 2008.
Samuel told Vanguard that his father’s decision in bringing him from the US to Greensprings School was borne out of his quest for a good learning foundation for him. According to him, though he later had his first and second degrees from the University of Wales and University of Warwick all in the UK, his father was particular about his educational foundation.
Wabara who was the deputy head boy of his school 10 years ago, was invited as a guest of honour at the school’s graduation ceremony held at the Anthony campus. While speaking to the graduads, he said: “During my Greensprings journey, I won’t say I was the best student academically, I wouldn’t say I had the best character among my peers, I also will not say I have currently surpassed all my peers in our different achievements, but what I will say is that the steady transformation from my early years till now, is what they are most proud of. This transformation began while I was a student here. If anyone told me in year seven that I would become a prefect, not to talk of deputy headboy, I’d say you obviously don’t know me. This establishment prides itself with their ability to systematical impact every aspect of a student’s life, and create tomorrow’s leader.
“Unfortunately, the educational system in Nigeria has drastically deteriorated over time, and the few that are privileged to graduate from an establishment such as this have a huge role to play in achieving Nigeria’s success. This is why as you face the next phase of your life, you must be prepared to focus on your goal. Be prepared to utilise your time effectively, and be prepared for things not to go as planned.
“The truth is, sometimes things don’t work out – the university you applied to may not accept you, or the job you’ve always wanted may not take you. But these things happen, and the next step should always be to re-strategise. Most people believe, in the business world, that successful businesses are the ones that have detailed rational strategies that have guided them to achieving success. But many fail to realise that re-strategising is a major component to their strategy.
“If the company, Apple, did not re-strategise, if IBM, the technology company, did not restrategise, they wouldn’t be where they are today because at a time, they were on the brink of collapse. Let’s use the example of the current president of Nigeria, after three unsuccessful elections, our president had to re-strategise for his fourth election, and he won. Each time things don’t go your way, it’s time for you to re-think, re-plan and re-try.
“Importantly, you must have goals. Doing everything and anything to be rich and drive an awesome car shouldn’t be a goal; I think it’s an unsustainable goal. You must understand that your goal must be unique; it’s what will distinguish you from your peers, and in your career. This goal should be what will encourage you to keep trying. A little progress everyday adds up to big results.
“A fellow student of mine, Tobi Tikolo, who was the head boy of my set once said: ”If you work a little everyday, it becomes easier for you to get a GPA of 3.0 and above.” This theory got him to Havard University and now, a manager in Goldman Sachs. I really admired his work ethics. Secondly, you must make sure you are utilising your time effectively. Do something everyday, just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything productive, you can get a job, volunteer for a foundation or cause, complete a short course.
“At this time of your life, you should be learning a new thing everyday. Knowledge is never lost in my opinion. Throughout my university life, I made sure I was doing something, even though majority of the peers around me were not. Sometimes, my parents would say, how much are they paying you that you are taking this job so seriously? At that time, I didn’t understand why, I just wanted to work. But now, I think I had an urge to achieve something of my own, rather than relying on the achievements of my parents.
“Now, majority of my working experience has helped me manage my own business today. Another important thing I’ve understood while growing up and becoming an adult, is that you must have a good level of organisation. It is the only way you can ensure that you will put in work everyday. Although studies show that for some reason, women tend to be more organised than men, so I accept that, and I work extra hard to achieve it, my wife may think otherwise, but I try. On becoming an achiever, it’s not a day’s job, it is a learning process.”
Meanwhile, the Executive
Director, Greensprings School, Mrs. Lai Koiki told Vanguard that the kind of students produced by the school are meant to be global citizens. According to her, wholesome education is not about Mathematics and English alone. “It also include sports, karate, drama and football.”
In education, she pointed out that Greensprings School had one of the best results in the country and also got the best in the country award this year in drama and arts. She said: ”The world is changing and we must all recognise that and so putting children in a narrow/half way will not augur well for them in the future. It’s better we prepare them in every way both morally and socially so that they will be able to find their pathway when that future comes.
”Parents who bring their children here do so not because they have money, but because they believe children learn in the school. Even children of taxi drivers who know the quality of education are here.”