It is a beautiful day. This day is made by God, the Maker of all things. I hope we all know that the devil does not create. He only perverts. His tool of perversion is the ignorance of his victims. Hence some of us are committed to attacking his seemingly invincible fortress of ignorance. Thus I am here again today.
Permit me to bring to conclusion the 2nd factor you must consider before you register your child in a school, which is to study and judge the commitment of an institution of learning to what it claims it stands for in terms of vision, mission and core values. How do we study and judge commitment to vision, mission and core values? I think the number one tool is clear understanding of the vision, mission and the core values of the school. It therefore means we need to have a foreknowledge of the vision, mission and core values either by requesting for the school’s prospectus or visiting their website. Our visit to the school will be to study and judge the school’s commitment the foregoing. I think we can achieve our mission of studying and judging through observation of the school and every stakeholder, including pupils and direct interview with same stakeholders. From when you step into the school, you begin to observe the attitude of the gatemen and the receptionists. You may also want to observe the environment to see whether it conforms to what the school claims to represent. For example if a school says neatness is a value they hold dear, you want to watch out for the environment. Discuss with the head of school and ask critical questions on their vision mission and core values. Seek to visit the class your child is to be accommodated in. Spend time and observe the teacher and the children. Seek to discuss with the teacher his/her understanding of what the school stands for. See if there is coherence between the teacher and the head of school. A lady recently shared an experience with me on a school she intended to register her child. She found that though, they claim that professionalism is a value they hold dear, that they were in the least professional. She observed that from the gate to the office of the head of school, none of the personnel, who attended to her, were professional in the discharge of their duties. After spending about 25 minutes on the premises of the school, she made her conclusion that she would not register her children there, though she still went ahead to fulfil all righteousness by talking to the head of school.
Why do we need to study and judge? It is because it is impossible for a school to achieve in our children what the leaders and the drivers (teacher and other stakeholders) have not achieved in themselves. You cannot lead someone to and through a route you have not travelled before. You simply cannot give what you do not have.
The vision, mission and core values of a school should be taught and well known to all stakeholders including the most junior staff by the leaders of the school. The fundamental responsibility of a teacher is to teach vision and keep inspiration alive. The leader must understand that influence without inspiration will not lead to transformation. The most effective way to teach vision and keep inspiration alive is to lead by example. In Mayflower School, founded by Dr. Tai Solarin, morning exercise was a rule. Pupils started their day with physical exercises. Come rain, come shine, Dr. Solarin was the first on the field.
You see, we live in a country where we are better in words than we are in deeds. We love words more than action. To get the best out of the system, we must be in what I call ‘verification mode.’ I was read in the newspaper about an endurance trek named after a ‘big man’ in Nigeria and the man, whom after the endurance trek was named, was not part of the trek in any form. He did not even start with them and stepped aside later. I think I have done justice to this 2nd factor. I look forward to being with you tomorrow. Stay INSPIRED.