How alumni can help develop the sector, by expert
A guest lecturer at the reunion of Idah Secondary Commercial College old students association Class ’87, Emeje Ogu Sunday has tasked old students to pay greater attention to secondary schools in order to revive the sub sector.
Sunday who spoke against the backdrop of dwindling fortunes of public secondary schools occasioned by lack of commitment on the part of our leaders said there is an urgent need for old students to come to the rescue.
“Although alumni activities are more vibrant in universities, it just means that there are many lessons for secondary school alumni associations to learn from.
He explained that In Nigeria where the government will continue to find it increasingly difficult to meet up with its responsibilities, alumni members should play a vital role in providing assistance to these institutions.
“Alumni members are in a good position to offer advice on the relevance of the curriculum to the demand of the professional workplace. They can contribute their knowledge in their specialised areas of expertise and experience necessary for the improvement of management processes and outcomes.
“In the United Kingdom, efforts to raise pupils’ aspirations have encouraged the recruitment of old boys and girls as volunteer role models to whom current pupils can relate. For instance, at London Academy, Edgeware (a British Secondary school), the “Future First” charity is helping the school formalise its efforts to develop an alumni network designed in its first phase to use former students as career role models.”
Sunday said the lesson is that students gain from talking to and exchanging ideas with alumni members, which also help them to develop valuable networking skills.
“The point here is that successful alumni can be very influential role models to current students of their alma mater because of the bond they share as former students, and having gone through similar challenges that current students may be facing. Years of knowledge and life experiences that alumni have gained professionally and personally shared with students could make a pivotal difference in their lives.”
He noted that alumni could therefore be a source of vital career and character guidance and also help to transmit the essence of school spirit, culture and beliefs from one generation of students to the next.
“In addressing the decay in our education system, we should draw resources from alumni associations. In doing so, the critical areas in our education system will be impacted positively.
“The way things stand in our country today, the support of alumni associations is critical to the conceptualisation as well as effective implementation of education reforms.”
He also observed that alumni associations represent a significant and vocal constituency in the education sector adding that they are well-known sources of strength to the younger generations, as well as strong and powerful voice, which could exercise a considerable amount of influence on the policy direction of education reforms in Nigeria.
While highlighting the activities of the set thus far and the idea behind the reunion, the convener, Paul Emmanuel lamented the poor infrastructure and encouraged the old students to do more so as to revive the institution.
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