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Rewarding outstanding performance inclusively

By Gbenga Akinfenwa
21 November 2021   |   2:34 am
The memory of this year’s Speech and Prize-giving day of the Corona Secondary School, Agbara (CSS), will, for a very long time remain indelible in the minds of the staff, parents, alumna and other stakeholders...

Vice-Principal, Academics, Corona Secondary School, Agbara, Mr. Paul Obah (left); Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo; Awardee/Best Secretary, Mr. Richard Maduka; Principal, Mrs. Chinedum Oluwadamilola; and Chairman, Parents’ Teachers’ Association, Mr. Olushola Falodun at the event

The memory of this year’s Speech and Prize-giving day of the Corona Secondary School, Agbara (CSS), will, for a very long time remain indelible in the minds of the staff, parents, alumna and other stakeholders, as it took an unusual dimension.

As a day set aside to celebrate the brilliant efforts of its students in academics and extracurricular activities, both in internal and external examinations, this year’s edition was however expanded to include the pastoral, administrative, kitchen, security, gardener, maintenance and medical staff.

With the theme: Stand Up! Stand Out for Excellence – No One Left Behind, the event was held on November 14, 2021 at the school’s premises tucked inside Agbara Estate, Agbara, Ogun State.

The School’s Principal, Mrs. Chinedum Oluwadamilola, in her opening remarks, said the event was set aside to celebrate academic excellence, and also extracurricular activities, as there is a star in every child.

She said: “As the theme for this year is, ‘Stand Up! Stand Out for Excellence – No One Left Behind’, today we will be celebrating our students and staff successes, with no one left behind, for all that happened in the year 2020/2021 academic session. Every Corona child is worth celebrating.”

The event, blessed by the participation of the Ogun State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, also attracted a large number of alumnus, including the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, who isn’t only an alumna, but has also worked in the school in various capacities and retired as director in 2014 before getting a government appointment.

The keynote speaker, Oyinda Egbeyemi, also an alumna, took the students and guests through her sojourn as a student of the school, and how she pulled through every obstacle. She said it was necessary for students to believe in themselves, have a good support system, take on challenges on the standard of excellence, develop a sense of excellence, and mindset of strength.

According to her, “In life, there are always going to be challenges, there are always going to be obstacles, and whenever you overcome one, there is another waiting at the next door, but it is important that you go through the next door with a sense of excellence, and a mindset of strength because you will need to overcome these things.
 
“It is also very important to take on challenges, take the bull by the horn and make sure you stand up for excellence. To excel is a great thing and something everyone must yearn to attain.”

Also addressing the students, another alumna, Nofisat Haliru, a legal practitioner said secondary school, especially when in a boarding school, was the perfect time for self-discovery for any student.

She said this was so because “it is really the first time in our lives where we are able to have some form of independence from the ever monitoring eyes of our loving parents and, we are immersed into a system which molds us but also allows us to decide the shape we want to adopt.
 
“As a student of Corona Secondary School, whether you’re in Year 7, 8 or 12, every single day, every single task and every single activity is an opportunity for you to begin the introduction of a new chapter in this book called life.
 
“The decision to be the best version of you is yours to make and it doesn’t matter how old you are. It’s a question and challenge you must pose to yourself every day! Are you willing to be the best, pass life’s test and conquer the rest?”
 
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of awards. Tobechukwu Okolo, Adekunfola Olowodola, and Kaido Obikili, emerged as the first, second and third overall best students of Year 7 respectively, with an overall percentage ratings of 92.92 per cent, 92.72 per cent, and 89.70 per cent.

Abdullah Sule, Peace Odunuga and Gbemisola Marquis, emerged as the first, second, and third overall best students of Year 8, with an overall percentage ratings of 89.13 per cent, 88.13 per cent, and 87.28 per cent respectively. 

In external extermination awards category (Cambridge Checkpoint) 2020/2021 Academic Year, Oyintariere Akika, Munachiso Onyekwere, and Abiodun Marqis in Year 9, emerged as the first, second, and third overall best students with average grades of 5.8, 5.5, and 5.4 in that order.

This is just as the trio, alongside Oluwamurewa Fadare, Chisom Ike, Mofesola Olusola-Falodun, Blessing Obed, Roqeebat Koleosho, and Ifeoluwa Demechi, were equally recognised for having a perfect score of 6.0, in the Cambridge Checkpoint examination, while Folasade Adefisayo cash award for the best student in Checkpoint went to Oyintariere Akika.

Also, Oyindoubra Akika, Ogechukwu Alloh, and Mardiat-Iman Ibrahim-Iman, were rated as the first, second and third overall best students in Year 10, with their overall percentage ratings put at 94.85 per cent, 89.36 per cent and 89.30 per cent respectively.

For Year 11, Somtochukwu Ike, Toluwanimi Sonuga, and George Nnona, emerged as the first, second and third overall best, with a percentage difference of 89.79 per cent, 85.66 per cent, and 85.51 per cent respectively.

Another highpoint was the emergence of a Year 11 Student and Sport-whiz of the school, Khaleel Abiru, as the recipient of the ‘Principal Special Recognition Award’. 

While reading out the merits of his emergence, the school’s principal, Mrs. Oluwadamilola described Abiru as a student with a heart of gold and team spirit. She said Abiru has a very selfless, humble, and caring personality despite his wide achievements in sports and academics.

“He is very passionate about the welfare of others and is the only student who would always see through my smiles whenever I am stressed or worried, and doesn’t fail to encourage me to take a rest. 

“He doesn’t fail to compliment me when I am looking bright and rested and he is always willing to help out even without being told. I always look forward to hearing from him every day.”

Abiru was equally described by his fellow students in lower classes, as a role model prefect, they all look up to and would love to emulate when in senior class.

One other unique highlight was the recognition of the non-teaching staff with the Most Dedicated Staff award, in which a Medical Staff, Mr. Rasheed Musa; Driver, Mr. Emeka Nwaguru; Security man, Anthony Obi; Gardener, Moses Akapo and others, who have spent over 30 years in the school, were recipients. 

Other recipients include, Blessing Ezeala, Mfonobong Umoh, Gbenga Oshilaja, Mercy Onwunta, Ovaisam Urom, Bose Josiah, and Moses Akapo, who were recognised as the most dedicated Teaching Staff, Administrative Staff, Pastoral Staff, Class/Form Teacher (Senior), Class/Form Teacher (Junior), House Coordinator, Maintenance Staff, Ground Staff and Gardner respectively.

Others are Anthony Obi, Richard Maduka, Hassan Deba, David Kolawole, Blessing Ezeala, and Grace Adesina, who were named as the most dedicated staff at the Security Unit, most dedicated Secretary, kitchen Staff, Head of Department, and Best Library User respectively. 

The duo of Adewale Ojo and Celestine Egemba emerged as the most Committed Male Staff of the school, while Sunday Ossai, Charity Balogun, Patricia Emurese, Oluwaseun Arthur and Mustapha Olaniyan were respectively recognised as the ‘Best Teacher in checkpoint 2020 (Mathematics).