Joint Principal's Speech at The 68th Graduation, Valedictory and Prize Giving Day Ceremony of Offa Grammar School, held on Tuesday July 14 2015 at Shofoluwe Hall
I am particularly happy and full of gratitude to God for making it possible for us all to gather here again to celebrate at the Graduation Ceremony of our Students and Children. It is with great pleasure therefore that I welcome you all to this great occasion. On a day such as this, it gladdens my heart to share with you a brief situation report of some of our problems, hopes and aspirations.
Let me begin this situation report with words of appreciation especially to the Chairman of this occasion for the time spared to be in our midst. We are no less thankful to the Lady Chairperson for readily and kindly accepting our invitation, nor should we forget to express our immense appreciation to the Guest Speaker who must have spent sleepless night in the preparation of the address which he will be delivering today.
This brief report will deal with three major areas. These are the state of the School, its future plan and academic achievement. I will therefore appeal for your patience as I give a succinct but comprehensive report of the yearÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s activities.
The current School population is 2608 comprising of 1302 from the JSS and 1306 from the SSS. Only 50 are boarders with the rest predominantly day. Over all there are 1307 Male and 1301 Female in the School. A total of 37 arms into which the Students are streamed make an average of 70 Students in a Class. This high figure can be attributed to excessively high demand from Parents and Guardians to have their children/ward admitted into the School because of the name it has carved out for itself both in academic and infrastructural development.
The Staff strength is 42 and 46 in the JSS and SSS respectively complemented by additional three Teachers from OGSOSA, two from 70/74 set, two KWABES Staff and three from PTA. There are twelve Non-Teaching Staff with three additional Security personnel employed and paid from the School purse. The Staff strength is further complemented with the service of twenty two NYSC Members who despite their limitations are trying their best to impart knowledge to our Students. We thank the NYSC Secretariat for their warm assistance in meeting our needs.
Our Staff is not qualitatively and quantitatively adequate to meet our needs. The present problems with Staffing have made most of us conformist having to make do with the available resources but it is my earnest appeal to our employers to get us personnel for: Biology, CRS, IRS, Mathematics, English Language, Civic and ICT, to mention but these.
This academic year has ended as happily as it began with the exception of a few cases. The School authority has tried his best in its role as watch-dogs of soundness and good moral upbringing of our Students. Generally, one can see the disciplinary standard as just a reflection of that of the Society which the School is only a sub-set. Most of the Students are suave: quite few coming out as outstanding. Proven cases of lateness to School, truancy, dodgy approach to labour and others are just a few of the common cases of indiscipline.
Thanks to God for the grace giving to the coordinator of the FCS (Mrs. Adeoti A.O and Aduradola R.K) and MSS (Mr. Oyewo B.A and Salawu M.R). Their sermons and speeches of Principals and Teachers seem to be leaving marks on the Students. The fact that the School is not fenced poses a problem of checking truancy. We need assistance in this area and the Parents of our Students will be the ultimate target, all things being equal. We appeal to Parents to cooperate with the School to enable us instill discipline into their children.
The School will never tolerate a scenario as happened in neighbouring Schools recently where Teachers were assaulted on account of Parent's over-pampering of their irresponsibly behaved Children. Such Students stand to be indefinitely suspended from the School. Let Parents learn the lessons from the incidences that recently occurred. Thanks to my management team who have demonstrated a keen sense of responsibility and initiative. The present standard of discipline in the School is attributed to their hard work. Beside we also have some Staff members who have greatly impressed me with their sense of duty and cooperation. We are equally grateful to our outgoing Prefects for their effort in the maintenance of discipline in the school.
The major challenges confronting the school are lack of robust fence to define the perimeter of the School. A robust fence around the School would have assisted us to check Student vice habits like truancy, lateness to School, sneaking out of School at odd hours. Other challenges trailing this are inadequate Staff in some critical Subjects as well as lack of enough sporting facilities to practice during Sports. The female hostel that was left out of the recent CBN rehabilitation which has defied all manner of repairs was reroofed some weeks ago from the resources of the School. The old School Bus grounded for several years in the School compound would have been put to productive use but for lack of fund. The lack of adequate security personnel to oversee the security to School property is another challenge. These and many more are some of the problems being faced by the School.
The School had the singular honour of organizing one of the most colourful athletic competition this year from where several sporting talents were discovered and showcased when the Kwara State Sports Council invited some selected Schools (OGS inclusive) across 16 Local Government Area to take part in the Athletic Competition to usher in the second term inauguration ceremony of the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatai Ahmed. During the competition, which took place at the State Stadium Complex Ilorin on 26th May, 2015, the School came Second in the 100meters boys' event. The School's relay team in both boys' and girls were outstanding, winning laurels upon laurels. Our School Bus added glamour to all our outings and naturally boosted our performance in this regard. Some of our achievements at the various invitation relays in which the School took part are highlighted below:
|SCHOOL/VENUE OF EVENT
|St Clares Girls School
|ACHS Ajasse Ipo
|Adesoye College Offa
|Kwara State Stadium Complex
|Adesoye College Super Cup Football Competition
|Alhaji Sefiu Oladipo Volleyball Competition
The School athletic team also won several awards at the maiden edition of the Offa Community School Sports Foundation Athletic competition being sponsored by Professor M.O Oyawoye, the final of which was staged at the Olofa Stadium on 25th March this year.
Of the various Clubs and Societies in the School, the Press Club, the Road Safety Club, the JETS Club, Interact Club and the Health Club have been towering in their activities in that descending order. I urge other Teachers to avail themselves of the need to form a Club to benefit the Students. Other Clubs not existing or those that have faded away over time and which needed to be explored abound. They include: the Geography Society, the Young Farmers Club, the Photographers Club, the Computer Club, the Barbers Club, the Business Club, the Girls Club of Nigeria and the Dramatic Club.
The Junior School participated in the NYSC organized Quiz Competition in Agricultural Science this term and was awarded prizes. They equally participated in the Adesoye College organized debate and won a trophy while the Senior School came home with Kits for themselves and a wall clock for the School. In January this year, one of our Students Taofeekat Raji of SS3 Science one singly represented Kwara State in the Mandatory Continuing Professional Training (MCPT) ANCOPSS organized Essay Competition North Central Zone comprising of Six States and clinched the Second Position. The School will continue to dominate other Schools in the KITE club yearly organized Essay Competition as we are again in the final this year.SCHOOL FARM
Against the run of events, the School through the Agric Unit of the Science department rekindled her interest and embarked on the planting of melon on a small scale, bearing in mind that they are non-edible to Town goats. A portion of land was equally planted with vegetables and fenced with hedges to protect the crops from rampaging goats. Our desire to exploit the cropping potential of the vast arable land is checked by the invading goats and lack of perimeter fencing of the School. It is our hope that subsequent years would witness further expansion in crop farming, dry season gardening and livestock-farming. We have equally embarked on planting of trees (Royal Palms) to beautify the School. The quartet of Mrs. Yusuf N.F, Mrs. Abdulhammed M.J, Mrs. Bello R.A and Mrs. Agboola has been wonderful in this new assignment.
That Offa Grammar School had a rich academic past is not in doubt. Presently we are still trying our best to maintain the good standard that has made the School the envy of all. Although the setting is not the same as in the past, the situation and the environment have changed especially with Socialization and Information Technology. The emphasis is different from what it used to be not withstanding that the Parents and Staff have a lot to do to get a balance by enforcing the Students to work hard. This is what we do in Offa Grammar School today and the results are there for us to see. We are doers and not dreamers.
We give praise to God that with His assistance and the efforts of our dedicated members of Staff, the School has not only displayed consistency in its academic performance over the years, it has surpassed it at the last WAEC and NECO examinations. One of our students master Taiwo Suleiman had the honour of recording a distinction with aggregate 11 in the last WAEC exam, a feat that qualified him to be on the school honours roll thus breaking the jinx after several years of distinction drought. The School equally recorded 100% in all subjects offered in the NECO examination while it recorded same in 14 out of 19 subjects in WAEC result. The result as heartwarming and pleasing as it is, gives us hope that a lot of potential lies with our Students if provided with the right atmosphere. A lot more is necessary to be done to move the School to the standard that would support real Human Capital Development especially with the new curriculum which is directed towards entrepreneurial development.
The table below highlights the school, 2014 WAEC and NECO examination results.
|1. No of Candidate Presented
|2. No with Minimum of Five Credits including English and Mathematics
|3. No with Minimum of Five Credits with either English and Mathematics
|4. No with Minimum of Five Credits without English and Mathematics
|5. No with Four Credits with English or Mathematics
The 2014 Junior BECE result of the School was equally impressive.
OUR HEROES AND BENEFACTORS
- The Old Students Association of the School has been selfless in their assistance to the School. A lot of projects have been taking up over the years that had seen the School transformed in physical infrastructure. Virtually all aspect of School life had been touched one way or the other by the Old Students ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œ From Classrooms, Hostels, Laboratories, to provision of Furniture, Sporting equipment, Staffing, Building of magnificent Hall, water supply, transportation and many more things that have already been documented in the history of the School. All of these contributions have remained the legacy that they have entrenched for the present generation of our Students. Indeed O.G.S is enjoying immense support from the OGSOSA.
- As a mark of deep respect and appreciation of their worth, I think it perfectly justifiable to use this occasion to single out the individuals and groups that have supported the School in the course of the 2014/2015 academic session.
- Various cash Prizes endowed by OGSOSA 1965/69 set in respect of Pharmacist M.O Adeoti, Professor (Mrs.) N.Y.S Ijaiya, Professor M.A Akanji, Dr. (Engr.) U.G Akano and Chief Oluwole Harris awarded to deserving Students during the last Graduation Ceremony of the School and the current enlargement of the endowment to ten Awardee including Teachers who distinguished themselves in Science/Mathematics and Arts. This year award is enlarged to accommodate additional prizes viz. Engineer Wahab Kola Jimoh Prize, Mrs. Ebunlomo Adebayo Prize, Mr. W.O Nasiru (Principal) Prize, Late Chief J.A Osanyin (Principal) Prize and Late Chief I.A AdelowoÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s (Principal) Prize all of which were instituted by the class to be awarded to deserving Students. Our gains by this gesture is not only by the cash packaged to the beneficiaries of the award, but the motivational effects it will bring to bear on our entire Students as it will stimulate them to better academic performance as they struggle to outpace one another in an attempt to benefit from future awards.
- Donation of a high-grade multifunction Photocopier and Printer by the Class of 1983 set.
- Donation of #100,000 cash by Engineer Paul Adubi of 1975 set used to purchase Sporting equipments.
- Award of scholarship to cover WAEC registration fee amounting to #16,000 each to ten best Students presented by the Yunus Folorunsho Oyeyemi Foundation.
- The choice of the rehabilitation of the Library as a project by the class of 1975 and commencement of spade work to determine the cost involved.
- The employment of one Teacher each in English Language and Mathematics to boost the Staff strength by the Class of 70/74 set.
- Award of scholarship to some final year Students to cover 2014/15 WAEC registration by the 2001 set.
- The comprehensive rehabilitation of the School Mosque that has transformed it to an architectural masterpiece that is being funded by our living legend ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œ Professor M.O Oyawoye.
- The various captions on wooden slab fixed at strategic walls of the School buildings calling attention to the Students to submit themselves to school rules and regulations to make them worthy in character and learning done by the 2000 Set.
- The selfless sacrifice of Mr. Mustapha T.O (Odiye) an Old Student of the Class of 77 and a former Teacher of the School who is daily and voluntarily assisting in the Road Safety traffic of our Students coming to School despite his disengagement from service is a lesson in patriotism.
- Lately the School is to benefit from a Federal Government Agency support to Institutions of Learning with the building of a modest auditorium to accommodate about 300 Students as part of their efforts towards enhancing educational excellence in Schools.
- The clearing and evacuation of huge waste that were illegally dumped by our dirty neighbors at unholy hours at the vicinity of Sofoluwe hall as executed by the National body (OGSOSA).
- A Member of the Class of 1987 set Mr. Waheed Lafenwa for funding the repairs of damaged doors and ceilings of two classrooms in the junior block.
- The rehabilitation and beautification of the Oyeleke Hall which is in an advance stage of completion by the class of 1961/65 set.
- The consistent donation of cashable trophies for two years running by Alhaji Okoalaro, the Chairman of Ilorin Branch of OGSOSA and a Member of the Class of 72 set.
- We want the Class of 78 to re-organize their intention to bring back the School orchard and to march their words with action.
- We equally salute the philanthropic gesture of the Abuja Branch of OGSOSA under the leadership of Alhaji Wasiu Alayande for their consistent donations both in cash and material prizes to deserving Students during the School Graduation ceremonies.
- The effort of the Home Branch of the Association under the headship of Alhaji Jimoh Salako in matters affecting the School is highly appreciated.
- The Pledge by Lawyer Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), (1977 set) to one of our Students who secure admission into any Nigeria University to read LAW has been unmet due to our inability to get a candidate with that interest. This year however, there is a greater hope and chance of one of our Students to clinch the award.
Other individuals and groups who contributed to the progress of the School include:
- Mrs. Siyanade Fayiga (nee Oyewoye) who led a team of Christian Yoruba Mothers based in USA and presented an LCD Projector for our use.
- The ODU North America (ODUNA) Scholarship awards which has been on for some years back has been of immense benefit to our Students.
- Donation of books (textbooks, novels, complete set of Encyclopedia e.t.c) by Professor A.B.O Oyediran and Siblings to the School library.
- The Kite Club that has sponsored competitions among Secondary Schools in Offa and awarded prizes of which Offa Grammar School has always benefitted yearly.
- The Zenith Club of Offa that Awarded Scholarship to Indigent Students in Offa including those from the School.
- Lawyer Opadokun Annual Bursary to best Students in Senior and Junior Secondary Schools of which Offa Grammar School is a beneficiary.
- The Executive Chairman and Vice Chairman Deacon Dr. Olayonu for donation of award and cash.
- The Archers Club that has consistently awarded scholarship to Indigent Students of which the School has equally benefitted over time.
All the above and many more are interventions that will contribute to impact positively on the life of the Students and the School. It's my earnest appeal to urge other potential helpers to recognize and initiate awards to stimulate not only our Students to greatness but to the Staff to spur them for better productivity as "Without teachers' appreciation, there can't be any student progress"Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â. Theresa Grimm.
I will want to address the Parents with these posers. What roles have we played to assist our offspringÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s (these Students) in preparing them for the stormy weather where armed robbers and some Members of the Police becomes bed fellow, where thieves are Chiefs, where morons are barons and where ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“Monkey dey work and Baboon dey chopÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â, forgetting that the Monkeys will be tired one day. We struggle to possess happiness but we lacked joy. We learn but without understanding. We live in an era when transporters must have adequate Kola to grease itchy palms at checkpoints, when individuals work the brain as they try various permutations and possibilities of diverting tax payers hard earned money to private accounts when Women convert their most secret, most treasured, most private parts into storage facilities for Cocaine and other illegal hard drugs. When Hospital workers are not on strike, Medical Doctors are. When not tanker drivers, it is oil workers, when not Bank workers, it is Ministry Staff. When ASU are not on strike, it is NASU.
The big questions are: Are we as Parents been part of the problems or part of the solution? Do we control our Children or allow them to control us? Do we constantly update ourselves on the going's on in our Children Schools? Are we actively involved in School related activities like PTA meetings, Inter-house athletic competitions, Graduation Ceremonies etc? Have we played and do we continue to play our parts as Parents or have we neglected our Parental roles and now expect Teachers and the School authorities to perform the miracle of bending dried Fish? Fellow Parents, our answers to these questions reveal our Parental attitudes. In the same vein, I will therefore urge Parents to be more responsive and alive to their responsibilities and forge a bond of friendship with their Children to curb certain juvenile delinquency at home especially in their formative years.
A WORD TO THE GRADUATING STUDENTS
I must start by first congratulating you at both levels i.e. the JSS3 and SS3 for completing your course of study in this School. It is a no mean feat to graduate in Offa Grammar School with the routine tough promotion exercise at the end of every academic session. While we open our arms to receive those of you coming back for the Senior Secondary School, those of you who are not coming back especially the SS3 Students are welcomed to the world.
Everything that has a beginning must surely have an end. Today is likely the last chance I may have to address you as a body like this. I have seen it in you that many of you are anxious to be referred to as ex-Students. As you leave this School, having completed your course of studies a week ago, there is need to ask whether or not you have fully armed yourselves mentally, physically and morally to hold your own. Your Religious activities on Sundays and Fridays sermon and pieces of advice offered during morning assemblies are intended to strengthen you morally and spiritually. The School Curriculum and Co-curricular activities were planned to maximize your physical, moral and mental development. If you have taken advantage of this you will have adequate immunity to face and overcome the challenges ahead. As you all must have known by now, ignorance and knowledge does not co-exist. Force of ignorance abounds in our Society. These forces have successfully permeated all aspects of our national life manifesting themselves into corruption, incidence of secret cults, in our institution, injustices, favoritism and lately, the protracted terrorist activities of the Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria that has become a vicious cycle without any solution in sight. The poser to you is; Are you our graduating Students prepared to help us to turn the bend? Are you ready to propel us to join others in the 21stÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡ century? Or are you like Power Holding Company of Nigeria content to leave us in the dark ages.
As ex-Students of this School, you will be expected to remember always what School you came from. Do not get involved in activities that will taint the good name so many people have struggled to build. It takes a lot of people and a number of activities to have a good name; it takes only an act of indiscretion by one person for it to be destroyed. Although as graduating Students, you are formally leaving this School; your departure should not mark the end of your association with this School. If anything, you have only opened a new chapter. Remember to register yourself with the Old Students Association of the School without delay. A lot of benefit awaits you in the nearest future.
Whatever you may become in life, remember Offa Grammar School, your destined choice. A person should never become too big or too successful to forget who breastfed and weaned him or her. "A river that forgets its source of,Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â so our elders say, dries upÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â. In addition to contributing your quota to the good name and development of this School, try and visit this place often, keep in touch with your Teachers and remember to always express your appreciation to them for all they have done. When you visit this School, remember that those who are still Students will look up to you. Therefore do not show your new independence by dangling cigarette sticks and wearing sun glasses that is destined to ruin your eyes.
It is our prayers that the knowledge that you have will serve as an effective search light as you find your ways in the dark tunnel in Nigeria and possibly in Diaspora. It is our prayers that you will become genuine patriots and leaders who will lead by examples, honesty and the fear of God.
Above all, we pray that the school motto "LABOUR OMNIA VINCIT"Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â meaning "PERSEVERANCE OVERCOMES EVERY DIFFICULTY" Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Âworks for you, Amen.
As from the beginning of next academic year, boarding fees will be collected from the Boarders on the first day of resumption. All concerned Parents to take note and all Students to drum it into the ears of their Parents and Guardian.
First term begin on 7th September 2015. Parents and Guardians are expected to start saving now to pay their School running cost levy.
The general PTA meeting of the School will hold on Wednesday 22nd of July, 2015. All Parents are expected to attend as important matters affecting their children will be discussed.
I hereby register our profound gratefulness to all who have helped in one way or the other to make this academic year a very huge success. The highest gratitude goes to His Royal Highness, the Olofa of Offa Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi EsuwoyeII for his spiritual roles and His Traditional Chiefs for their constant response to our invitations. I once again render our immeasurable thanks to the Old Students Association (OGSOSA) as a whole for their unquantifiable assistance that has made us to be different from the rest. The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of the school ably represented by its Chairman in person of Alhaji R.S Popoola who is here with us in his usual manner and his consistent support of the School. Thank you and the rest of the PTA Executive Members. The O.D.U Caretaker Committee as well as the representatives of the Education Committee of all O.D.U Schools including OGS are equally appreciated for their recent visits to the school to find out how we are faring. We pray that a new spirit will be rekindled by them to assist the school to surmount some of her problems. We want to thank the various Government agencies, the Ministry of Education, the Teaching Service Commission and the Quality Assurance Bureau, the State Universal Basic Education, ably represented by the Education Secretary the NYSC, the Nigerian Police and the Police Community Relation Committee (PCRC) the Civil Defense Corps, the Medical Director of Offa Specialist Hospital, the Federal Road Safety Commission and the Parents of our Students for their various roles in the School. It is important to acknowledge once again, the extra-ordinary performance of the Teaching and Non-Teaching Staff for their responsible behavior that has sustained the peaceful co-existence between the Principals and Staff.
"Slow and Steady" it is said "wins the race"Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â and this follows that the continuous efforts of all whose names cannot be mentioned now have contributed to the School's welfare, and we are therefore, grateful to all, including all of you who have sacrificed their precious time to come over here.
The Honourable Chairman and Lady Chair Person, the Guest Speaker, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, I restate my profound gratefulness to you all for your response.
May you get back to your respective places peacefully.
Thank you and God bless.
MR. REMILEKUN OBADMUS
(PRINCIPAL JUNIOR SCHOOL)
MR. BOLA WAHABÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡ IBIYEYE
(PRINCIPAL SENIOR SCHOOL)