■ Loral International Schools promote Nigerian unity, showcase rich and colourful culture
By Job Osazuwa
When Loral International Schools Cultural Day, the school’s annual event that aims at promoting Nigerian rich culture and tradition, took place recently, students were adorned with local fabrics. It would not be an exaggeration to say that they were proud of their identities. From the East to West and North to South, their dresses singled them out and sent a message as to the exact part of the country they come from.
The day would certainly remain evergreen with those that attended because the students proved the Nigerian stuff in them. Energy, speed, bravery, pride, dignity, and artistic display were the foods that they intermittently fed the audience with. Like a carnival-like event, there was dance-drama from the three major tribes.
When the students were called for welcome rendition, the Igbo opened the floodgates for Nigerian profundity in the people’s ways of life. It was followed by the Edo, Yoruba and Hausa. They all got a resounding applause from the guests and fellow students.
The Ijele Dance was performed by pupils selected from the Nursery and Primary Schools. Though they were many in the group dance, the precision and uniformity in their movements could earn them signing from any big shot music promoter. As they sang and danced brilliantly, the echoes of “well done children” rent the air.
Also, the Egedege, Ekombi from Calabar, Niger Delta and Yoruba dance troupes left no stone unturned in thrilling their guests. The excitement and sense of fulfillment displayed by the students were simply exceptional. Every now and then, the dancers, beaming with smiles poured into the audience, dragging the adults to the dance floor.
When Shadi Hausa dancers took over the stage, the atmosphere became more charged to the extent that the Special Guest of Honour and wife of Emir of Kano and Founder, Gatan Maragu Foundation, Hajia Sophia Essamed Bayero, couldn’t resist the frenzy as she was caught nodding and shaking her head in admiration.
In her remarks, the Director General, Quality Assurance, Ministry of Education, Lagos State, Mrs. Ronke Soyombo, described the students as wonderful people, adding that they were proud in showcasing their sense of identity. She urged them to keep the flag flying.
“This is my first time to come to Loral school, but with what I saw today, this is not a school that is simply promoting academics, it is promoting the whole child,” she said. “And this is something that sets the school apart as outstanding in Lagos. The students really made us proud. I implore you to keep up the fantastic work. I also give kudos to the teachers who are mentoring the students to believe and be proud of their identity.”
Soyombo said her office was to ensure that quality is maintained in every area of public and private schools’ activities, affirming that the ministry would do everything within the law to promote and encourage sound knowledge in all schools in the state.
The chairman of the occasion, Mr. Felix Matthew Osifo said he was proud of how the school has nurtured thousands of students since inception, 38 years ago. He described the founder of the school, Mrs. Loral Nwosu, as a woman of vision and courage, pointing out that in spite of the diverse challenges the school faced at the teething stage, it continued to wax stronger.
“You cannot do away with the culture and tradition of the people. I am quite impressed that literally all the major ethnic nationalities, including the minor ones have showcased what they are known for in Nigeria and the world at large,” he said. “The performances were superb and I hope that other schools will learn from Loral to uphold our culture.”
Mrs. Bayero said she was overwhelmed with the students’ display and described them as “young and confident.” According to her, with more of such students across the country, Nigeria has nothing short of amazing future.
The Managing Director of Loral, Chief Crawford Ndukwe, told The Sun Education that inculcating the right values and norms in the students was in line with what the school is known for, and submitted that the students’ performances couldn’t have been better.
On the importance of culture in today’s academic world, he said: “A tree without roots cannot exist. The cultural linkage in our lives cannot be overemphasized. It is crucial to the development of students because there has been so much Western influence in Nigerian culture. What we are doing at Loral is to bring back our culture to eminence. From the dresses and dance performances by the students, it is obvious that Loral has confidence in our culture. The cultural linkage is an integrating factor for the unity of this country.”