By Adesina Wahab
The Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Caleb Group of Schools, which includes Caleb University, Imota, Lagos, Dr Oladega Adebogun, is not only a firm believer in the provision of quality education, but one that is provided at affordable cost for as many people as possible to benefit.
Not only that, he believes coming from a poor background should not be a factor to stop the realisation of the academic pursuit of anybody, as such persons should be encouraged with scholarship and other incentives to march forward.
All these, he not only preaches, but practises in the award of hundreds of scholarships annually to indigent students and the moderate cost of fees charged in his schools.
For instance, for the 2019/2020 academic session, fees payable by students at the Caleb University ranged from N189,500 to N194,500 per semester and not much was added to the current session.
“It was Malcolm S. Forbes who said, ‘the purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one’. If we are going to do that and make our society great and better, sound education that is hinged on core values that would also promote and produce sound moral values in our children must be our focus. That is what we are promoting in our schools.
“At Caleb University for instance, our core values are Godliness, Innovation, Service, Integrity, Teamwork, Excellence and Creativity. We know that without Godliness in whatever we do, the result will be negative. We emphasise service to humanity, integrity that others can see in us and vouch for us about. Teamwork that is shown in the saying that two heads are better than one. Excellence in service and digging deep to draw from the innate creative power God has given us.
“From my own background and having served as a classroom teacher and also having worked in the public service as an educationist, I know that talents abound in this country and helping to educate and nurture such talents is a great way to lifting our society. Yes, we know education has a cost, but the cost shouldn’t be out of the reach of the majority.
“My passion for education led to my investment in the sector, not that we just started because we want to make money. And that is why our fees are moderate. We are focused on making our products make positive impacts wherever they find themselves,” he said.
Adebogun, who left the services of the Lagos State Government as a Principal Inspector of Education, noted that government alone cannot meet the expectations of the citizens and must be complemented by other stakeholders.
Even as a private school owner, his membership of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, NAPPS, has tremendously helped in lifting the body.
On his annual scholarship awards that cut across all levels of education, Adebogun emphasised the need not to let financial constraints stand in the way of people yearning to actualize their dreams.
Caleb University project
Within a short period of time, Caleb University has carve a niched for itself as the leader in the training of students in Architecture, Computer Science, Mass Communication, Accounting among others.
Before the unbundling of Mass Communication by the National Universities Commission, NUC, into different courses, the university has taken a proactive step in that direction. It started the construction of a giant edifice to house the Prof. Idowu Sobowale School of Communication and Media Studies.
An independent power project, to meet the electricity needs of the university community is ongoing, while new hostel facilities and a gigantic cafeteria are almost completed.
Such great efforts are replicated in Caleb International College, Magodo, Caleb British International School, Lekki-Abijo and Caleb International Schools owned by Adebogun.
Only recently, the Caleb University Parents Forum, donated a state-of-the-art clinic and an ambulance to the school.
While taking possession of the facilities on behalf of the management, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Nosa Owens-Ibie, said the development showed that the parents valued the impact the school was making in the lives of their children and had bought into the vision of the school and its owner.
Some leaders of the Forum, Mrs Julie Falodun and Mr Oritseweyinmi Boyo, captured the relationship between them and the school by saying, “Caleb parents as partners in progress with the management, decided to complement the great effort of the school by donating the state-of-the-art medical centre, and an ambulance as a model of primary health care facility.”
One of Adebogun’s workers, Dr Elvis Otobo, described him as a rare gem, whom he labelled as a mentor worthy of emulation in all aspects.
“He has taken me as his son and has mentored me in a number of ways for years. Being an entrepreneur did not make him lose his humanness. He does what he preaches. He treats people with utmost courtesy and his assistance and contributions to my academic pursuit cannot be quantified. And the same he does for countless number of people.
“Despite the high standard in all his schools, the charges are always moderate because what drives him is the passion for education and not greed for money. Education is pivotal to the growth and development of any society and if we have many people like Dr Ola Adebogun, our society will be better for it,” he said.
Another mentee of Adebogun, Mr Olusegun Adeniyi, who is the art teacher at Caleb British International School, Abijo-Lekki, was recently recognised as one of the top 50 teachers in the world by Varkey Foundation, organisers of the Global Teacher Peace Prize.
“Today, I will like to glorify the Lord of my life, Jesus Christ, for he has done so very much for me. My sincere appreciation goes to everyone that have supported my journey, my work and dreams. Many thanks to my boss turned father, Dr. Ola Adebogun,” he said.