A clarion call has gone to stakeholders in the education sector to have a rethink on the basis of education, what it is meant to achieve and impact on the society, in respect of the recent crisis facing the society.
Dr. (Mrs.) Olajumoke Mekiliuwa, a Senior Lecturer at Federal College of Education (Technical) Akoka- Lagos, who was the guest speaker at the Federal College of Education (Technical) Secondary School (FCETSS)’s 2020 Prize Giving /Valedictory Service held on Thursday, December 17, 2020, called on governments and stakeholders in the education sector to embrace skills acquisition for students as a solution to scaling through the challenges faced in the new norm.
Mekiliuwa explained that the new norm, which is brought about by the rampaging Covid 19 pandemic, is calling for new approach to learning and teaching, pointing out that the whole world is concerned about the quality of students produced by Nigerian educational institutions.
“The Post Covid-19 era is no doubt a new norm in that many activities of life have taken a dimension, including teaching and learning. Many countries of the world are conducting their lectures through virtual and other digital means contrary to what was obtainable before the pandemic. This ordinarily demands that a student must be conversant with his/her computer to be able to cope.
“Consequently, every child should be properly nurtured in the three goals of education which are education for transmission of knowledge, skills and attitude to be able to adapt and excel in this new normal life”, she said.
She explained that the new reality has placed on graduates the need to acquire digitalization and other vocational skills, apart from the school certificate to survive and make impact on their careers.
“Every child needs personal life skills and vocational knowledge to cope in today’s world”, Mekiliuwa said.
Mekiliuwa advocated for the need for societal attitudinal change towards blue-collar jobs, which she said are being looked down upon. She warned that those involved in such attitude are not doing their children or wards any good, rather they are frustrating them.
“There is a need for societal paradigm shift”, she said.
She advocated that secondary school management should begin to organize skill oriented programmes during long vacations instead of engaging the students in the formal academic activities.
The lecturer also counseled parents, who want to see their children to excel in the new norm, to start apprenticing their children to the neighbourhood skill workshops to acquire practical skills.
“If your child learns how to make hair, sew clothes, graphic designs, etc; this will certainly fetch him or her fortunes while schooling abroad”, she said.
Dr. Wahab Azeez, the Provost, Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka-Lagos admonished the graduating students of the institution to always hold on to the tenets of their faith and not to forget the God-factor in all their endeavours.
“In all you may encounter in life, do not forget the God-factor, and hold on to the tenets of your belief/faith”, he said.
Azeez, who commended FCETSS’ School Board, Parent Teacher Association, and other stakeholders of the school for their relentless efforts and supports which have made the secondary school soar higher above even those schools that started before it.
“Our secondary school established 10 years ago has achieved better successes than some of the secondary schools established before it, in terms of academic learning, moral upbringing and religious counseling”, he observed.
He reiterated the FCE’s readiness to improve the infrastructures and facilities in the secondary school to meet modern standards; and to always support the best graduating students, who are the institution’s brand ambassadors.
To the 73 graduating students, the provost affirmed the school’s resolution to support the secondary school to inaugurate the Old Students’ Association, which will be encouraged to contribute to the development of their alma-mater.
Mrs. Abdul-Salam Khadijat, the Acting Principal, FCETSS, in her speech counseled the students to see their success of completing their secondary school education as a stepping stone into a new life.
“Let me reiterate it to my darling students that today’s success is a stepping stone to your success in the new life”, she said.
Abdul-Salam, who christened the class of 2019/2020, ‘the Overcomers’ explained that their triumph over Ebola waves when they were just admitted into the school, and their victory over Covid-19 pandemic waves while graduating is a testimony of their overcoming spirit.
She encouraged the students to bear in mind that life is a fallow ground that needs to be cultivated; hence, the need for them to be careful of what one sows or not in life.
The school administrator affirmed to the students that as graduates of FCETSS they have been pruned and tuned to attain their best potentials in life, and urged them to go and conquer their world.
“Let your light shine in the path of darkness, from your angle through the nation and to the world”, she said.
Dr. Adebayo Sakariyahu, the Board Chairman, FCETSS, stressed the essence of time management to the graduating students as they are ushered into a bigger world where they would have little or control on how they use their time.
“Time is the most powerful, unstoppable and yet the most valuable gift to man has stolen past us again, waiting for nothing and waiting for no one.
“Time is life and must be guarded and used resourcefully. Use your time wisely, be focused, be diligent, be persevering, be the best you can be in whatever you choose to do”, he charged.
Mrs. Olufunso Owasanoye, the Chairperson of the event, who was represented by Johnson Ibidapo, charged the students to embrace challenges as part of life and to learn how to surmount it. She reminded the students that life is going to throw so many challenges to them starting with some of them not getting admission into tertiary institutions on time.
However, she admonished them not to give up in the face of challenges no matter how it comes.
“In life, persistence is stronger than resistance”, she said.
Mrs. Latifat Tunde-Awe, the parent of Miss Toluwalase Tunde-Awe, one of the best graduating students, who went home with a dozen of prize awards expressed her delight to see her amiable second child excel in her studies.
Though a widow, she promised to do her best to see her brilliant child realize her dream of becoming a doctor in future.
For Usman Abdulrahman, the SS3 Head-boy, who won three first prize awards, it was not a happy day, because it was below his personal target.
“I’m not really happy, because last year I won five awards as against three this year”, he said regrettably.
Abdulrahman resolved to be more focused in the coming academic season.
“I want to be the overall best student next year”, he affirmed.
Many dignitaries from within and outside the school community of FCETSS graced the occasion.