Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
Seventeen year old Agazie Christopher Chidera was the cynosure of all eyes recently at the valedictory ceremony for outgoing students of British Spring College, Awka, Anambra State.
Chidera, from Umuchu in Aguata Local Government Area of the state, shone like a bright star. He not only passed as the best graduating student of the college for the 2017/2018 session, he also won cash prizes in different subjects and external exams of the college.
With 11 prizes in his kitty, Chidera, as the valedictorian of the year, emerged the Best Student in International General Certificate of Secondary School (IGSE) 2018, Best Student in Civic Education, Information Communications Technology, Igbo Language, Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Animal Husbandry, among others.
For emerging the Valedictorian of the Year, he smiled home with a cash prize of N250,000, while all other subjects and categories in which he won attracted cash prizes of between N20,000 and N150,000. In a similar manner, other winners were rewarded during the valedictory ceremony of the college, which has the theme “Validation for Excellence.”
Head boy of the college, Ebubeogu Thomas, and head girl, Ezekwu Somadina, were also rewarded in the service awards category, while Idemili Esomchukwu and Anih Kelechi were recognised in the special awards category as the Best Behaved Boy and Girl of the college.
Ukoh Chinyere, Dike Chijioke, Ezenwuba Chisom and Asogwa Nneoma emerged the second, third, fourth and fifth overall best of the college, while some teaching and non-teaching staff of the college were also recognised in various categories. They carted home prizes like refrigerators, washing machines and other household appliances.
Supervisor, British Spring College, Dr. Ngozi Onwuachu, said the awards were instituted by the management for the promotion of excellence among students and to encourage a healthy competitive spirit among them.
“Once you know that at the end of the session you will be appreciated with something tangible, it goes a long way to spur people into putting more efforts into what they do in the college. Once you reward and promote excellence, people will be motivated to do more.
Among the teachers, those who didn’t get today will most likely strive to do more next time,” she said.
The school’s director, Lady Uju Dike, earlier in an address, told the outgoing class of 2018 that leaving secondary school comes with a lot of mixed feelings.
She said: “One part of you is happy that you are finally done with secondary education and another part is sad that you may not be able
to see some of your classmates again in your lifetime. And, sadly enough, this is true. But I want you all to hold unto the bond you created with each other in this school.”
Lady Dike expressed happiness that the despite challenges that the students encountered in the course of their studies, they still completed the journey with great achievements and beautiful memories.
She stated that 84 per cent of the graduating students did well. She implored members of the class of 2018 to see themselves as good ambassadors of the college and never allow selfish interest to blemish the integrity they have nurtured over the years in the college.
Bishop of Awka Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Alexander Ibezim, in his goodwill message, described the end of the pupils voyage in the college as the beginning of a new vista of life for them.
The bishop charged them to stand with God in every adversity of life, like Daniel did in captivity in Babylon. He urged them to resolve
to obey God in order to overcome temptation and succeed.
Enugu State commissioner for labour and productivity, Charles Ogboo Asogwa, whose daughter also got three awards, expressed delight that the sacrifice and commitments made by parents of the students over the years in the college were not in vain.
He said other schools, private and public, should emulate the good examples set by the Awka school in maintaining the highest degree of academic and moral standards and also in rewarding excellence.
Anambra State commissioner for basic education, Prof. Kate Omenugha, who was represented by the director of schools, Dr. Ray Offor, declared that Governor Willie Obiano’s dream in Anambra was to ensure that every school in the state would produce globally competitive quality students.
He urged the graduands to take advantage of the good foundation already laid for them and break every barrier.
The overall best graduating student, Chidera, who said he hoped to become a surgeon, thanked the school management for the grooming that he and other students received.