Wednesday, May 9, 2018 4:55 pm
By Daniels Ekugo
The Managing Director, Chrisland Schools Limited in Nigeria, Mrs Ibironke Adeyemi, stunned media practitioners during a facility tour and post celebration of the 40th anniversary of the school. She revealed that the Chrisland expends N8m on electricity consumption monthly to Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), excluding amount spent on generator fuel.
Adeyemi who was speaking on the core values of the school during a recent three-day fact-finding and facility tour of the Chrisland Schools said: “We are a school with a difference, a school where core values and quality are respected. We don’t put the cost to parents, because the founder of the school, High Chief Winifred Awosika believes in philanthropy, which is why we go all out to render selfless service to the nation.
“Over the years, the core values of Chrisland Schools have become parts and parcel of all of us. We unconsciously live, work and act by them. To a ‘Chrislander’, you do not have to read the inscriptions of our core values every morning or do a recitation. It is already part of us and of course, these values have become the identity of our great school. It is easy to differentiate a ‘Chrislander’ from the others.
“Discipline seems to have been compromised by most elitist schools of today; the moral upbringing of the innocent child has been seriously tampered with. It is pointless adding that an undisciplined mind cannot achieve greatness, of course, it is the obvious. This is why discipline, is a core value of Chrisland.
“Love is our sustenance we say, realizing the need to work together in team spirit, showing love and passion to one another. Nothing sets work in motion better than love.
“Quality makes the difference all the time; the Chrisland brand is synonymous with quality. One of the reasons for our success is the fact that we do not compromise our standards in any way. We owe it a duty to give qualitative education to the children, as this will be the only solution to the perennial crisis facing the world now.
“Academic Excellence seems to be the unique selling point of most schools. To some of the schools, it does not matter how this is achieved; either by hook or by crook, just get the “As”. This is where our integrity comes in and makes the difference. We have been known over the years for a tradition of academic excellence, our students write external examinations unaided and come out with good results.
“On our own part as the custodians of the Chrisland culture, we the directors ensure the implementation, we lead by example, and also ensure that proper orientation programmes are put in place for every fresh member of the Chrisland family, be it a student, a parent or a staff. In no time, the fresh ones show respect for our rules, they honour our values and join hands with us to preserve our culture, the Chrisland Culture.” She concluded.
The facility tour took media practitioners to the headquarters of the school in Opebi; the early beginning of the school at Oluwole Ikeja; and to the massive 50 acres school facility in Idimu, Opebi, Oluwole, Ibadan, Lekki and the Victoria Garden City Complex.
The second leg of the tour was the facility tour to Chrisland University in Abeokuta, where a female Vice Chancellor, Professor Chinedum Peace Babalola, holds sway. Professor Babalola is a product of University of Ibadan.
The Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacokinetics averred that Chrisland University is the only university that charges as low as N580,000 per annum. Moreover, she revealed that two students are accommodated in a room (en-suite). She called on the Federal Government to list private universities as part of beneficiaries of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
In her words: “The season of glory and new things for Chrisland University would be a total review of the curriculum of the university to meet the 21st century needs.”
She explained that this would help equip students to compete effectively with global standards and undertake innovative projects while staff development would be enhanced via training in new ways of curriculum writing, teaching, research and learning methods.
The Chancellor of the University, High Chief Winifred Awosika said “You see when people say the standard of education has fallen. Yes, but at the same time the knowledge the children have now, the awareness is very high. Indeed what the young ones know now we didn’t know in our own time. The young ones are smarter, more vocal. My granddaughter— if you ask her do this, she will ask you why I should do it. But in those days, you never queried what your father or mother said. They are more intelligent, learn more quickly. There is so much for them to study; there is awareness of everything happening all around the world.
“Before we used to have teacher training colleges but right now we have many schools, many universities, many graduates but the quality of these graduates is low. When I hear the grammar, the way people mix up tenses and all that, it is something else, because in those days, a lot of premium was placed on your composition of sentences, you didn’t mix past tense with present tense, everything was well analyzed and impacted into the child. For example, when you talk about calculating, the way I was taught, I am even faster than those who use calculators today.
“For years I did not allow calculators in Chrisland. You are taught to do your calculation quickly and mentally but now things have changed. They are not as good as before; so in that regard the quality has gone down. As for our educational system in Nigeria, actually I don’t know where we are now. I am sorry because there is so much confusion, as if we don’t know where we are going.
“Even the government is pulling the private schools always from the public schools. The government is for all and those of us who are trying to do something good in the private schools should be encouraged and the public schools should emulate what is good in what we are doing; not to ignore us and say this is private, they are charging money and all that. In those days, the ministries were giving what was called grants-in-aid; so with that they were able to run both schools without charging us too much. The government can support us so that we make our services more affordable although I have never discriminated against any child on the basis of background or inability.
“When I first started the fee was so low that some parents asked me, ‘how will you manage to give our children the best with these low charges?’ So each time I collected fees, I would put aside salaries and then for any project and allowed parents to pay whenever they could. The staff members were saying ‘mummy the way you are doing people will not pay, you have to make sure you are strong about it and make sure that they pay at resumption of new terms’ but I was lucky that I had so much in favour of what I was doing, courtesy of my husband even though we did not have all the facilities like good electricity supply.
“Our secondary school, our full boarding school, we have to provide electricity and we spend millions on diesel. If the government was giving us electricity supply, we have boreholes, we can provide water for the children and this will be easier, better and cheaper. In fact, we have many challenges but God has seen us through it all and we are grateful.”