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Public school students are equally talented, intelligent —Principal

THE principal of Basorun Ogunmola High School, Ring Road, Ibadan, Mrs Bolanle Ibitola Oketade, has advised parents whose children attend public schools to see them as children with great potential, rather than arrogate success only to children who attend private schools.

She gave the advice last week at a programme organised by the school, tagged ‘One Day Principal’, which took place in the school’s premises.

According to her, students in public schools are wonderful and equally intelligent; and all they need is the provision of adequate educational materials and moral support from their parents.

She urged parents to cultivate the habit of buying textbooks for their children in order to assist them and encourage reading culture.

On the rationale behind the ‘One Day Principal’ event, Mrs Oketade said the programme was initiated to show the whole world that there are brilliant and talented children in public schools.

“We encouraged them to emerge as principal and vice principal for a day through a series of keen competitions, which took several weeks before we could pick the winner, to inculcate the spirit of followership and leadership in them,” she stressed.

She thanked the old students association and parents for their financial support, and appealed to the state government to encourage teachers by paying up all outstanding salaries and arrears to enable them do more.

In her remarks, Mrs Bisi Kode, a former principal of the school, who was the initiator of the ‘One Day Principal’ event in the school, noted that the reason for inaugurating the programme was to inculcate the spirit of leadership in the students at a tender age.

In her key note address, the Permanent Secretary, Teaching Service Commission, Oyo State, Mrs T. A. Olaitan, who was represented by Mr Olukayode Windapo, lauded the school, saying that “ it is a laudable programme that will have a long lasting impact on the students, broaden their imagination, and strengthen their resolve for excellence in life.

Also speaking at the event, the Local Education Officer, Mrs Olufunmilayo Okeyode, the representative of the Local Inspector of Education, Ibadan South West, Mrs L.T Oladeji, said the programme was the first of its kind in the history of the local government, and that it was worthy of emulation.

Speaking with the Tribune Education, Miss Olaoluwapo Ifeoluwa, the ‘One Day Principal”’ an SSS 3 Science Student, expressed her gratitude to God for the rare privileged given to her to act in the capacity of the school principal for the day.

“I feel so proud of myself today. I really thank God for his help and my loving parents for their moral support, prayers and words of encouragement. I have always been shy to face the crowd; but today, I overcame my fears. I want to encourage my fellow students to believe in themselves and be determined to succeed against all odds.”

Her counterpart, Master Adelani Favor Ayomide, also of the SSS 3 Science Class, who was the vice principal for the day, said that the experience gave him the opportunity to read and pray more.

Mrs Deborah O Adewunmi, Head, Co-Curricular Activities for the school, hinted  that the winners  emerged as a result of hardwork and doggedness at the end of a six-week long competitions put together by her team; featuring quiz, debates, catering craft practice, among others.