Monday, 28 July 2014

Catholic Primary School Preaches One Nigeria, Africa’s Cultural Renaissance via Muslim Hijab, other attire

 Okechukwu Onuegbu

If truly, education is unrestricted to academic prowess, and extends to rejuvenation of cultural virtues, morality and ethics; St. Lucy’s International Nursery and Primary School, Ifite-Awka, Anambra State stands atop as one such academic paradise where children are bequeathed with needed values of life.
These could be decipher from the school’s 12th graduation ceremony, where 30 Nursery three and 21 primary six pupils were sent forth to go and conquer their equals having concluded their compulsory Early Child Care (ECC) and elementary education respectively. Also, the secondary school arm of the institution; St. Lucy International Secondary School graduated it pioneered students.
The well-attended colourful event, held in the school premises weekend, witnessed displays of cultural heritage; as the pupils were decorated in Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and Niger Delta’s attires, as well as in Muslims Hijab, and was presided over by a Church Service (Mass) anchored at the St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Ifite, the parent of both institutions.
Among the highlights of the occasion were French recitation, cultural dance, debating competition, drama and crowning of the Parish Priest, computer presentation, Igbo news casting (Akuko Uwa), dressing competition, couples game by pupils, to mention just a few.
Speaking in a homily, the officiating Priest, Very Rev. Prof. Anthony Chiegboka, from Department of Religion and Human Relations, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, advised parents and teachers to transmit fear of God and proper home training into their children, wards or pupils, with a view to meeting up with requirement of life and heaven.
Our reporter who was at the graduation ceremony after the church mass reported that a year scholarship was awarded to pupils who emerged first position in their respective classes in three consecutive term within a session (first, second and third term), even as others who clinched first, second and third positions in their third term examinations respectively garnered prices.
Speaking to Orient Daily, Manager of the institution and Parish Priest of St. Anthony Catholic Church, Rev. Fr. Venantius Ogbuagu explained that the one year academic session scholarship was aimed at engendering competitiveness among the pupils and students, as the citadel of learning frowns at failures.
Rev. Fr. Ogbuagu, who noted that any SSS3 students of St. Lucy who could gather ‘A’s in his/her ‘O’ level result would automatically get N100, 000 from them in order to further his/her education in tertiary institution, beckoned on parents to always provide their wards and children with the necessary materials, because according to him, both the management and staff of the institution were ever determined and ready to transform the children for better tomorrow.
On dexterity of the cultural apparel and displays at the occasion, Rev. Fr. Ogbuagu disclosed that it was part of the school extra-curriculum activities geared towards restoring love, peace and unity in the country, as well as to revive the declining African cultures.
On his part, Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Uche Onyilofor, represented by Hon. Godwin Mbakwe, said he was marveled at the pupils’ vocabularies, expressions and comportment in throughout the event, and urged them to maintain the tempo, even as he reiterated the needs for other schools in the whole federation to copy the kind gestures.
In an interview, Chairman, Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) of the primary school, Mr. Christopher Ifeadi, hinted that the 12th graduation ceremony was an outstanding one compared to what was tenable elsewhere.
However, he implored parents to understand with teachers whenever they discipline their children for wrong doing.
Speaking earlier, Headmistress, St. Lucy’s International Nursery and Primary School, Mrs. Florence Atueyi, who charged the graduands to remain good ambassadors of the institution wherever they find themselves, solicited for public support in providing the school with a befitting conducive environment for teaching and learning.
Some of the graduands; Miss Chidinma  Emeh (Nursery 3), Ebere Ogabido (Primary 6) and Mr. Chinedu Nwankwo of SS3 while speaking to Orient Daily, extolled their parents, the management and staff of the school for making the event very colourful beyond their imagination, and vowed to extend what they classified as “neatness and good behaviour” they learnt therein to others as they journeyed for more academic excellence.



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