Goldcrest Family Centre, a Lagos-based non-governmental organisation, recently celebrated its annual Children’s Day educational programme. The event was held at Arowosegbe Primary School in Alapere-Ketu, Lagos.
About 5, 000 primary school pupils from across Lagos State were showered with gifts by the President of Goldcrest Family Centre, Reverend ( Mrs) Agatha Chukwura.
Some of the primary schools that participated in this year edition included Arowosegbe, Alapere, Irepodun, Orisigun, Pastor Adegboyega Memorial, and Anglican, Baptist, Maidan, Apostolic and Ajelogo Primary Schools, among others.
President of GCFC, Reverend Agatha Chukwura, said the intention of the organisers was to promote educational standard in all schools in Lagos. She said the organisation had been promoting the core values of education among the poor and vulnerable. She said the state government, through the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), had been supportive by creating the enabling environment for the success of the annual event.
“It has always been a good idea impacting the society. Goldcrest is demonstrating our love for these children. The programme has exposed the children to a number of opportunities that are available for them in their chosen careers. From today’s experience, I think we are able to identify their strengths and talents and also provide the most effective and competitive environment for them to grow and relate with other students,” she said.
She lauded the individuals and corporate sponsors for their support in the last 12 years of the programme, even as she expressed gratitude to the pupils and their teachers.
The Goldcrest leader noted that the organisation had invested a lot on the project and sought the support of the state government.
Executive Chairman, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr. Ganiyu Sopeyin was represented by Mr. Seyi Akintoye. He thanked Goldcrest for the initiative, stressing that educational development is not the responsibility of the government alone.
“We should ensure standard education in the state. What Goldcrest Family Centre has done today should be encouraged among the stakeholders in the state. The Lagos State government is always ready to support any initiative that could lead to the improvement of the educational standard.”
He urged the teachers to be good ambassadors of the state government in their various schools, adding that there is reward for dedicated teachers in the state.
“It is in the olden days that they would say that teachers rewards are in heaven. Today, teachers receive their rewards and compensations accordingly to spur others on and encourage diligence. The best students are also rewarded with prizes and lots of gifts. This is to motivate them and encourage them to be the best they can be,” he said.
Education Secretary in Kosofe Local Government area, Mr. Babatunde Shoneye said he was impressed with the talent displayed by the pupils during the arts and crafts exhibition. He said the idea was to identify the pupils’ innate skills and provide the platform to develop the skills.
Mr Demola Ekundayo, who represented Chairman of GCFC Board of Trustees said in the last one decade, the organisation has been supporting vulnerable children through the programme.
“They are brilliant and vulnerable. They are talented but have no wherewithal to actualize their dreams. That is why we have initiated this programme, so that we can expose them to new possibilities,” he said.
Many of the children participated in the various activities, including, march pass, inter-school essay writing and debate, cultural dance of the various states in the country and art exhibitions.
The organisers also distributed pencils, bags, coolers and other educational utensils.
Mrs Joy Okpoku won the award for the best essay competition by teachers. She said the gathering would afford the pupils more opportunities to know one another and learn.
She said: “The topic for the debate was ‘Necessity of good education in nation building.’ You can see that the children were all happy to learn new things and this is wonderful.”
Reverend Chukwura also explained the reason for choosing the theme – ‘Developing Potential in building a Nation.’
She said the greatest undoing of Nigeria as a nation is that despite the nation’s potential and diverse cultures, Nigerians are not able to build an enduring policy that can truly translates to a prosperous nation.
She explained also that the country could be the best that God had destined it to be if the Nigerian government could provide the enabling environment for the citizens to develop their potential in whatever they do.
Other educationists present at the event include, GCFC Vice Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr. Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, Mr. Ade Abatan, Mrs Odun Oladapo, Mrs. Ajimoti Foluso Kehinde, Mrs.Echema Momoh, Goodwill Joseph and Mrs Joy Patience among others.