…Encourages Parents To Invest In Children’s Education
By Uduak Akai
Qualitative education has been described as a ladder that could raise the bar of any individual to a greater height in life. It has been identified as a panacea for growth and development in a given nation, state and the society in general.
This was an assertion of a renowned educationist-cum-business guru and chairman, Dorben Group, Dr Akpan Ben Ekwere,during the third graduation ceremony of Pan African Comprehensive Secondary School, recently, encouraging parents to make every sacrifice to send their children to acquire qualitative education as it pays, adding that his vision and passion for education cannot be overemphasized as he is a great benefactor.
The chairman going down memory lane recalled that his late father was a teacher who sold all his lands to ensure that he travelled to the United States of America (USA) to further his education as his only son, maintaining that this wise decision by his father paid off as he has surpassed his father and impacted educationally on many in the society today.
In his words, “My late father was a teacher and the poorest of all, but knowing the importance of education, he sold all his lands to send me to the USA to further my education. As the only son in the family, I was challenged and touched by this gesture which at all times reminded me to study harder to reciprocate my father’s kindness.
“To the glory of God, I make bold to say that I am satisfied and fulfilled that I have not disappointed my father but rather I have surpassed him as I am a proud proprietor of two secondary schools in Abuja and Dorben Polytechnic all doing extremely well, as well as Pan African Comprehensive Secondary Schoolin Akwa Ibom, among other businesses which have provided employment for the teeming Akwa Ibom nay Nigerian youths,” he noted.
He explained further that in-line with the saying that “charity begins at home,” he decided to duplicate his educational vision in his state, Akwa Ibom, by establishing Pan African Comprehensive Secondary School in 2015, thus bringing qualitative education to the doorsteps of Akwa Ibom children, pointing out that his establishment of the school is not at all about profit making, but providing qualitative education for the children to be trained to be better than their parents as any child who does not surpass their parents’ achievements has not done well.
Ekwere expressed satisfaction over the outstanding performances and successes recorded by the students in external examinations, quiz competitions and other outings which have earned them several awards, adding that their performance in West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE), National Examination Council (NECO), and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examinations are parallel to none in the state as they usually record As and Bs while scoring above 370 in JAMB which has given them the opportunity to gain admission into various universities and polytechnics across the world in their choice career courses without spending a year at home on graduation.
The chairman observed that Pan African Comprehensive Secondary School graduands are currently pursing tertiary education in various universities within and outside the country where they are being sought for because of their excellent academic performance, calling on parents to avail themselves of this rare opportunity by enrolling their children in the school to acquire qualitative education as admission is ongoing.
He congratulated the outgone students on their successful completion of their secondary education and their display of academic and moral excellence throughout their stay in the school and prayed God to grant them success in their future endeavours, urging them to be good ambassadors of their alma mater as they go into the larger society even as they continue to study harder to become great future leaders.
The proprietor also advised the continuing students to emulate the example of their predecessors and study hard to also graduate in flying colours soonest, while appreciating the guests for their presence and useful contributions towards the growth of the students and the school; the principal, Dr Patience Ema; and his management team, the teachers and non-teaching staff for their selfless services in moulding the students to be best in all ways and encouraged them to keep up the good work.
To the parents, he noted that without them the school would not have waxed as stronger as it is today and sincerely commendedthem for their sacrifice in sending their children to the school to acquire qualitative education, assuring that their investment will not be in vain.
Earlier, the chairman on the occasion, Prof. Emmanuel Umanah, who welcomed guests to the graduation ceremony disclosed that he has been part and parcel of the school from its inception in 2015 and was delighted to witness its unprecedented progress and outstanding performance by the students.
Umanah acknowledged that the theme of the graduation,“Qualitative Education for Service and Leadership,” was very apt as it would broaden the horizon of the students on effective service delivery and leadership, maintaining that it is not just enough to pass through school and the school does not pass through you.”
According to him, it is not enough to acquire certificate but to be relevant to yourself, humanity, your families and the society in general.”
The chairman observed that looking at the graduating students,they have all the virtues needed to succeed in the larger society as their overall performances in external examinations and other outings are quite commendable, and congratulated the graduandsfor successfully completing their secondary education, charging them to continue to be exemplary in all that they do and in wherever they may find themselves to make the school proud.
Umanah appreciated the founder of the school, Dr AkpanEkwere and wife, Doris, for their vision in establishing the school in Akwa Ibom to provide a centre for qualitative education for Akwa Ibom children, the principal and his team, the teachers and parents for their various roles towards the progress of the school and enjoined them to continue as the sky is only the beginning for the school.
The principal, Dr Patience Ema, expressed gratitude to God for the successes recorded in the school so far and the enablement granted the students to excel in all spheres, noting that it has been God all the way.
Ema averred that the theme of the third graduation ceremony,“Qualitative Education for Service and Leadership,” is timely as Pan African Comprehensive Secondary School has been provided qualitative education for the past six years at a very affordable rate which has resulted in the consistent outstanding performance of the students in external examinations and competitions, adding that socially, the students are also top in the area of discovering the innate talents and leadership potentials as reflected in the emergence of six Pan African School students as best in the recent “Discover Me Project.”
The principal maintained that WAEC and NECO results of the students are usually commendable with over 94 per cent credit passes including Mathematics and English Language; adding that their JAMB results speak volume as they are always on top,scoring 370 and above, which has afforded them admissions in universities, polytechnics and colleges in their choice careers.
Dr Ema explained that the school entrepreneurial skillsdevelopment centre has been beefed up to prepare students to be able to face the realities of life, especially now that Nigeria is currently facing high rate of unemployment and underemployment. She said that acquiring certificate is no longer enough, thus students must be equipped with life skills to enhance self-reliance and sustainability, listing the skills available in the school to include tailoring, confectionaries,computer repairs/maintenance as well as water production and cosmetology.
With regards to the Music Department, Ema hinted that the department has been upgraded with the addition of a saxophone courtesy of the chairman, Dr Ekwere; and the employment of corps members who are doing extremely well in the department, calling on parents to provide personal musical instruments for their children for more practice at their spare time.
She congratulated the graduating students nicknamed “Class of Excellence” for their excellent performance, saying that they have been properly trained to take up leadership in their generation by succeeding where the present leaders have failed,calling on them as the hope of the nation not to fail in any aspect of their endeavours as products of the vision and mission of Pan African Comprehensive Secondary School students who are academically, morally, spiritually and socially excellent.
The principal appreciated parents for believing and standing by the school in the past six years, stressing that their labour shall not be in vain.
In his declaration session, Pastor Gabriel Ekong of All Christians Gospel Center, Uyo, appreciated God for the lives of the graduands throughout their six years in the school and congratulated them for not just completing their secondary education but graduating with flying colours that made the school, their parents and the society proud.
Pastor Ekong admonished the graduating students to always commit their ways to God as He will direct their steps, praying God to continue to keep them in good health as they go into the next phase of life.
He thanked parents for their steadfastness in ensuring that their children acquire qualitative education and the founder of the school, Dr Ekwere, for the vision of the school and the principal and all the staff for moulding the students towards becoming God-fearing and great future leaders.
A pioneer student of the school, EsitEkom Udofia, thanked God for keeping them alive for the past years, thanked their parents for the opportunity to acquire qualitative education, saying that the school has lived up to its motto: “A Global College for Africans,” as it has impacted positively on them as they are embodiment of virtues needed to succeed in the larger society for development.
She thanked their teachers for painstakingly moulding them,assuring that their labour shall not be in vain while charging the continuing students to study hard and acknowledge God in all their ways.
In their separate responses, the outgone senior prefect (boys), Master Praise James, and his girls counterpart, Miss EnwongoGodwin, thanked God for seeing them through, and their parents for their sacrifices to train them to become greater than them.
They appreciated the founder of the school, Dr Ekwere, for establishing the school in the state, saying that Pan African Comprehensive Secondary School is the best as it has mouldedthem to compete favourably with their counterparts across the globe.
The graduating students applauded their principal and teachers for the love and care showed, disclosing that the school has both day and boarding modern teaching and learning facilities such as stand-by generating set, airconditioned-bus shuttle, standard hostels and library, standard science and computer laboratories, WiFi/Internet service, reliable security, qualified teachers, well fenced environment and an approved external examinationscentre for WASCE, NECO and BECE, calling on parents to search no more but to embrace the opportunity and enroll their children as admission is ongoing.
They charged their continuing students to study harder to even surpass their performance and wished them a safe stay in the school.
The event featured a paper presentation on the theme “Qualitative Education for Service and Leadership” by the guest speaker, an associate professor of Agric Extension and Rural Development and director, SERVICON, University of Uyo, Prof. Uyime Etuk; choreography, talk show, parade and band presentation and Ibibio presentation.
High point of the graduation was the presentation of gift to the graduands and awards to Praise Ating, best graduating student in Mathematics and Sciences; Vanessa Yebufura, best graduating student, English Language; Enwongo Duff, best graduating, Arts; Edimenere Etim, best in commercials; Esitekom Udofia, most well behaved female student; Manasseh Oliver, most well behaved male student; and the Pan leadership award which went to Godswill Etim; while the overall best graduating student for 2021/2022 session was Praise James.
Award of recognition for excellence representation in external competitions went to Joseph Inwang, Ikpanaesitobong Johnson,Stephenie Ukpa, Favour James, Anthony Etuk, Goodluck Iton, Goodluck Etim and Utibeabasi Akpan, among other awards,while the Johnson and Ikpanaesitobong Foundation sponsored a tuition fee scholarship to one best outstanding students in the junior and senior classes for 2022/2023 academic session.