By Philip Agbibia Agba
In a bid to foster unity and promote competitiveness among students in secondary schools, stakeholders have called for improved partnership amongst schools as a panacea to improving the standard of education and pace of learning.
The Commander of the Nigerian Navy Secondary School (NNSS), Akpabuyo, Commander Francis Ebhomihen and veteran administrator Dr. Mary-Theresa Agba stated this in separate interviews with CrossRiverWatch earlier this week in Calabar, the Cross River State capital on the sidelines of the maiden carol of nine lessons of the Chilion secondary school.
Commander Ebhomihen posited that education as a system is beyond what any organization alone can claim it knows how best to approach, hence the need for continuous partnership among administrators to ensure that best practices are learnt, shared and imbibed by the young students.
“Education is something that is beyond a single person. It goes beyond Chilion and the Nigerian Navy space. Those of us in education always work together in things like inter-house sports among others. We do attend each other’s sessions also because education is something that is beyond one organization as one organization cannot say and cannot do it all so of course, expect such collaborations in the future in spheres outside the carols,” Ebhomihen said.
On expected partnerships, he said that: “We will do quiz together, we will do sports together, we will always work together,” and commended the outing of the kids on the carol sessions.
“It is truly a good outing. I am specially impressed by the outing of the Chilion kids. They lived up to expectations,” he said.
A member of the Board of the Chilion schools, Dr. Mary Theresa Agba, in her remark, reiterated Commander Ebhomihen’s position and commended his support to Chillion.
She said that: “In administration of schools, it is necessary for there to be cooperation amongst sister schools and he particularly has been extremely supportive. You can imagine the number of students that he brought so I think that it is a step in the right direction and I support him in this cause of partnership.”
She dismissed the notion that extracurricular activities were being given a priority in private schools but said while many think that way, Chilion has a balanced curriculum.
“The private schools tend to do a lot of extracurricular activities but in Chilion, the curriculum is fashioned in such a way that we don’t pay too much emphasis on extracurricular activities because if you do that, the fear is that the children are going to forget the core of education, so it is important that should not take away the school system. Chilion is going to be an all round school,” she said and noted that the carol was an awareness campaign.
“I think that this is like an awareness campaign you know for such a young school. We are hoping that with this activity that has been so successful people are going to get to know that there is a school here that has a lot of potential and they will spread the word because this is the school’s way of helping government to bring education to our youths,” Dr. Agba said.
The Carol which was well attended saw renditions by students of the Chilion school and visiting NNSS students as well as the choral group of a faith based organization.
The event was also attended by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, DVC Administration of the University of Calabar, Professor Dora Udida.
According to information on the school’s website, www.chilionschools.com, the school is creating an enabling environment for learning, exploring and developing innate and aquired ability through discipline and hard work for the glory of God and the benefit of humanity.
Information on the site adds that, “Chilion International School is committed to providing exceptional and challenging education experience through the acquisition of knowledge, skill and values with biblical perspective.
“A rigorous academic curriculum is designed to develop intellectual curiosity which engenders the spirit of learning, discipline and excellence.
Boarding facilities of the school are top notch and they have a team of full time time guardians that are committed to the total wellbeing of the students in their care.
Extra-curricular activities such as athletics club, social responsibility and counseling programs are all included for the wholesome growth of the students.
And, parents who spoke to CrossRiverWatch commended the organization.
“Perfect. Although I came late but the little I saw I was really impressed,” said Mary Totsman-Etoty who added that: “I know that I have seen some improvement in my son in just the first term. My son is a bit more organized and he is able to read on his own. I am sure that he is in a good place.”
For Margaret Omini-Dickson, her child is in the right place. She averred that: “They really tried a lot and I thank God for bringing my son to this school. From the beginning to the end of this program, I cherished everything. My cousin introduced me to the school and as I came really liked it here. I will want my child to continue here.”
CrossRiverWatch’s Jonathan Ugbal contributed to this report.