Posted by News Express | 30 May 2013 | 5,642 times
Children’s Day 2013 may have come and gone but some people will forever remember it as one that changed their life for the better. One of such people is Miss Haisat Abubakar, an orphan and pupil of Ogudu Nursery and Primary School, a public school in Lagos, South-West Nigeria. Haisat and Master Promise Ihegadinma, won scholarships to attend neighbouring and highbrow Berkley Science Magnet School as part of the dividends of a partnership between the two schools. The scholarships are worth more than N500,000 per pupil per annum.
During the joint programme held a school day ahead of last Monday’s Children’s Day celebration, pupils of Berkley Science Magnet School showered gifts sourced from their parents on pupils of Ogudu Nursery and Primary School, who come from less privileged backgrounds.
The gifts, among them backpacks, toys, socks, pencils, notebooks, rulers, textbooks, story books, and other essential supplies for primary school pupils, are worth over N100,000.
Officials of the School Education Board from Lagos State, Mrs. O Oyesoro, and the supervising Kosofe Local Council Development Area, Mrs. Folake Ajayi, watched and applauded as pupils of the two schools interacted in an atmosphere of joy and happiness.
Dr. Maria Onyia, Chief Operating Officer of Berkley Science Magnet School, said the specialised school decided to adopt the public school as part of its annual Community Service programme “to contribute positively to student learning and teacher development.”
She said it was also aimed at teaching her pupils from well-endowed homes the virtues of sharing and giving. Her words: “I believe that this visit will benefit both student groups. Ogudu Nursery and Primary School students will appreciate the fellowship, friendship and supplies brought to school by our children. Even more, our children will develop renewed appreciation for what they have and the parents that work hard to provide them with opportunities that other children do not enjoy.”
News Express reports that in previous years, Berkley Science School had taken its pupils on tree planting, street cleaning, visits and donations to an orphanage and visit and donation to Ogudu Police Post as part of their annual Community Service Programme.
Speaking about the motivation for the programme, Onyia, who obtained her Ph.D in Education from Walden University in the United States, said she was motivated to contribute to the society. “In a state like Lagos where Governor Fashola is working very hard, I am encouraged to support the government and, like Pastor Sam Adeyemi preaches on the need for all of us to give back. We must look for how to serve. We must reach out and try to level the playing ground for all people,” she said.
Onyia said a key issue is teaching pupils of Berkley School to see that all children whatever their socio-economic backgrounds are still children.
“We have offered to maintain the relationship with our adopted school by sharing resources and providing training for the teachers. One day, we will ship in a container load of resources and share to the students. We have goodwill abroad. If they allow us train the teachers, they will be getting free world class training. We charge a lot of money for that,” she said.
•Photo shows HOD Education Kosofe, Mrs. Folake Ajayi, presenting a gift to an Ogudu Primary School pupil during the programme.
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