The Principal, King’s College Lagos, Mr Andrew Agada, says the institution is gradually returning to its glory days, following the performance of students in recent public examinations.
Agada was reacting to the 355 score posted by one of the students, Emmanuel Lawal, at this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) organised by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
Recall that JAMB had, at its recent policy meeting, listed students who scored 300 and above as the best performers in its 2022 UTME.
“We’re gradually making it back to the top; this is what we have been looking for.
“The glory days of this institution are gradually returning, following this performance of Emmanuel and many others, and I must say it is heart warming.
“We are improving and we want to keep on improving,” Agada told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview on Tuesday in Lagos.
The principal said that, against this backdrop, Lawal would be gifted a total of N400,000 from the college and other key stakeholders of the 113-year-old all-boys school.
He said that he had promised the boys that the best among any of them that would post 300 and above, would be celebrated.
“I made this promise last year, that is, for the set of 2021, and one of them actually posted over 300 in that year’s UTME; but due to some family concerns, he could not be celebrated.
“However, this year, I am proud to announce that one of our students is also among those who did exceptionally well, scoring 355 at the 2022 UTME.
“To live up to my promise, the college has, in addition to the N100,000 pledge, made a huge picture frame of Lawsl, displayed conspicuously at the entrance of the administrative block.
“Not only that, when the college and parents met at a meeting ( PTA), I brought the good news up and how much we have been striving to improve on our academic activities.
“A parent, who was elated, also appreciated the college for motivating the boys; he also announced a pledge of another N100,000 for Lawal.
“Same goes for the School Based Management Committee (SBMC) Chairman, Alhaji Jani Ibrahim, who also expressed joy on the development and pledged another donation of N100,000.
“The information also got to Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, President, King’s College Old Boys Association (KCOBA) and he reached me to say the association is also supporting the college with another N100,000 to encourage the students,” he said.
The principal said that, with the total donation amounting to N400,000, Lawal would be presented the cash prize on Saturday, Aug. 13, at the college’s speech and prize giving ceremony.
He said that this was aside the flex made for him as the face of King’s College 2022.
Agada said that Lawal was also adequately featured in the college’s year book, to further celebrate him.
According to him, to motivate the students further, he also made a pledge to the Junior Secondary School (JSS 3) students.
He said that the college, with time, would increase the prize for best performance in all public examinations.
“I told them that, for those that score 9As in their subjects in another public examination, the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), I will pay their first term school fees as they progress to Senior Secondary School (SSS1).
“And recently, we received the results, and so far on face count, I have more than five of them that scored 9As.
“In fact, the highest scored 10As, including Arabic language. These are things we are doing to encourage these our children.
“For those of them that are doing well academically but are indigent, we also go out of our way to seek scholarship for them, and like the session that had just ended, one of our old boys instituted a foundation that we were not even aware of.
“As we were making contacts, we got across to them and they were able to give scholarship to 37 of such students and paid their school fees for an entire session. This will relieve a lot of burden too from their parents,” Agada told NAN.
He lauded the teachers, whom he described as one of the main drivers of the successes recorded, for their commitments and show of love to the students.
The principal said that they could not be adequately rewarded.
“I think I owe the entire success recorded by those students to the teachers, for their dedication and cooperation.
“They have been wonderful, and my simple prayer is for God alone to reward them adequately.
“They should keep doing what they know how to do best, not looking at the principal, the government or the parents.
“Government cannot do it all alone, especially in the face of the current global economic crisis.
“It has been doing a lot to provide the enabling environment for the college to thrive.
“I also want to commend the Old Boys for their tremendous support, in terms of giving a facelift to some of our facilities.
“This has also been a source of encouragement to the students, and the PTA, for their intervention too, especially in the area of teachers recruitment for the college.
“A good number of the old boys too come in from time to time to deliver moral talks to our students and this has been inspiring.
“The SBMC chairman too has been a tremendous pillar, a wonderful ally of the college,” he said.
According to Agada, the college, which will celebrate its 113 years founder’s day in September, is struggling with issues of overstretched facilities, following pressure from the population.
He said that there was the need for adequate classrooms at the college’s main campus, more teachers in core subjects, as well as teachers’ accommodation on campus, to enhance productivity.
The principal said that the college had graduated over 1,500 students in the last three years, adding that performance in their WASSCE had been top notch.
“For instance, in 2021WASSCE, we recorded 99 per cent, that is for those that scored five credits and above, including English and Mathematics.
“So, I think we are not doing badly, but our goal is to be number one,” he said.
On the protracted strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Agada appealed to both the Federal Government and the striking lecturers to seek a common ground.
He said this was important in order for the students to return to the classrooms.
“We should realise that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. So, we must find a solution to the issues and urgently too, so that these children don’t fall prey to vices that are capable of compromising their future.
“Giving the fact too that we are going into an electioneering year, it will be better to get them meaningfully engaged so that they are not used for some anti election practises,” he said.