21 February 2018

Nigeria: Introducing Students to the Future

Passion, diligence and time management no doubt will help in attaining career achievement. This was the focus at a one day seminar on Career Goals organised for its senior students by Crown Heights College, Ibadan.

Self-discovery, right attitude to life and sound mind are considered as the factors that ginger human beings to succeed in life just as sound education pushes one to a greater high. Bearing this in mind, one of the foremost secondary schools in the Oyo State Capital, Ibadan, Crown Heights College, founded 21 years ago to address the falling standard of education has been at the fore front of shaping the lives of its students by organising various programmes that will have positive impact on them.

In its third year, the programme which could be tagged 'Preparing for the Future' has a special focus on students, to assist them to realise and utilise their potential, be exemplary in their conduct and become change agents while is also determined to use the instrumentality of education and enterprise development to spur lives to overcome barriers and achieve meaningful social and personal academic goals.

On February 13, 2018, all roads led to the school premises located at a serene Igbo-Oloyin area of Ojoo in Ibadan for a seminar on 'Career Goals', organised for its students and invited schools. Led by its Proprietor, Mr. Gbadebo Adeyeye, the event paraded important dignitaries who came with wealth of experience on issues affecting young people in secondary schools and how they can achieve academic excellence.

Among the speakers were Lagos-based man of many parts, Mr. Jibola Ogundipe who is an engineer, lawyer and entrepreneur. Also in attendance was the first female professor of Nursing, University of Ibadan and Head of Department of Nursing, Prof. Prisca Olabisi Adejumo, Principal, Mr. Salaman Olukayode and students of Ogunsanya Girls Science Academy, Ibadan.

In his opening remarks, Adeyeye said the pfoggramme was organised to introduce the students to the future. "We realise that most of the pupils even in the senior classes don't even know how to prepare for the future. We need to encourage them beyond the four walls of classroom. They need to be told the truth about the future and what they will meet out there so that they can prepare their minds for what will come later in life. This is the third edition of the programme and we have recorded success in the past. Each time I am organizing this programme I always consider how it will be beneficial to all the stakeholders; the teacher, staff, students and non-teaching staff. We always look for right people and we are lucky to have great Nigerians as our guest speakers," he said

The first speaker, Mr. Jibola Ogundipe took the students on the journey to self-discovery in choosing a career. He posed some questions to them like: How do I choose a career? Again, in the pursuit of self-discovery it is also important to find out what you love doing or what you are passionate about. This will give you an insight in choosing a career path. For Ogundipe, he is a man of many parts. He loved arguing as a child which led him to study Law. Again, what do you hate passionately? You hate seeing people being unjustly treated. You can become the voice of the voiceless.

Citing the cases of many who pursued their passion and made success out of it, he spoke about the renowned girl-child advocate, Malala who is currently a United Nations Ambassador, who converted what she hates to become an international figure. "The current Minister of Trade in Nigeria is a medical doctor, a profession loved by his parents. He would later carve his own niche by veering into accounting. Today, he is more of business oriented figure than being a medical doctor. The popular CNN journalist, Richard Quest studied law but currently anchors Business News on the popular Cable Television." This he said is what passion does. Ogundipe admonished the students that to pick a career, they need to go to their closet and talk to their inner voices.

Speaking further on how one can make good of one's career, he noted that it is good to know one's talent but also warns that knowing talent is not enough but being diligent will have a great impact.

Citing various Nigerian legends who had misused their God given talents, he stressed that talent is good but diligence is better. Going biblical, he cited I Samuel Chapter 17 which talked about David's exploits as an armour bearer, a shepherd, and a leader. He diligently combined these responsibilities and later became a king. "It doesn't matter how many talents you have but how you make use of them is important."

Advising them further, Ogundipe said they shouldn't follow bandwagons in choosing a career but they should study hard and develop their talents. He also stressed that it has come to realization that those who didn't do well in school ended up being the best in the business world. The reason is simple: proper application of knowledge no doubt will give them a head way in life. "Understanding the environment will help you not by having the best certificate. To be the best, you have to be consistent in application of facts," he said.

On the impact of opportunities and responsibilities as another path to success in life, Ogundipe said these two important are key as students embrace the larger world. "When you start your career, you have an opportunity to earn salaries and sell ideas. Remember that opportunities bring responsibilities and now depends on how you handle it as individuals."

In the pursuit of career attainment, he noted that time is also important. "When you are alone, pursue your goal because there is no time. Your time is your life so spend it wisely.

While rounding up an inspiring session, he advised all the participants to always set a new goal. They should also strive to be a good person by keeping promises because this is why integrity comes. He also advised them to always keep good friends and maintain a good relationship because it helps while climbing the ladder. He ended his session by going philosophical with a quote which says "a long life is not necessarily good enough but a good life is definitely significant."

Corroborating Ogundipe, another guest speaker, Prof. Olabisi Adejumo said this kind of gathering is important because it is good to talk to the children on the importance of coming to school. "Today's children want things to be done for them but it is good to let them know that they are responsible for their life. The most important assignment for them now is their study and how to manage their time. If you ask them what they want to be in the future, they will mention big profession. It is vital to help them know how to get there. It is good to aspire big but what are they doing about getting there."

Talking extensively on time management, Adejumo said everyone has equal time but the most important thing to the students now is their education. "Time management concerns every aspect of our lives and the choices of how we spend it has great consequences."

"How do you utilize your time? She asked rhetorically. The journey of first class begins from the first class (attendance). To manage your time properly always learn how to say no to unnecessary commitment."

To be a genius and good student according to Adejumo is not an overnight job but being discipline, reading ahead of teachers, jettison what can constitute an impediment and always see classes and studies as a profession. Above all, they must be students that prioritise and do less of social media which is a time consumer.

She enjoined them to be forward looking by setting academic goals. "Success is good but this lies in the ability to efficiently manage the time because the way 'to control your time tomorrow starts today," she added.

Admonishing the participants, the Principal of the school, Mr. Salaman Olukayode advised them to dream big because "what you conceive in mind helps to nurture and bring the dream to reality."


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