RAINBOW COLLEGE RAISES HOPE FOR INDIGENT STUDENTS
Rainbow College, Ogun State, has promised a rewarding future for brilliant children whose academic future is beclouded by uncertainty. Addressing journalists in her office recently, the Senior Principal, Mrs Ebiai Christiana, said the college would not close its gates against pupils with excellent grades whose parents cannot afford bills. She faulted the belief that quality education is the sole preserve of the elite.
'We are looking at the situation where we will bring in children from primary schools, who are brilliant but their parents are unable to afford the fees to Rainbow College. A school such as this will help them actualise their dreams', she said.
She said there is an existing scholarship scheme in the school where pupils from the primary section are encouraged to continue their secondary education, not minding the financial constraints of their families.
'We have many students on scholarship. Where a child trained in the primary section, that is Pampers Private School, exhibits real academic intelligence, even if the parents cannot cope with the fees in Rainbow College, the child will be encouraged to continue. During entrance examination for new students, a child from another school that performs excellently in the test, but the parents are unable to bear the study cost will also be encouraged to continue. We have such schemes for them', she explained.
Ebiai, who has many years of teaching experience, said the college's passion for excellence among pupils made it to adopt another school where the performance rating was low. The college helped the school with some facilities and other teaching aids, she said.
The Principal decried the falling standard of education in the country and called for proper planning of the academic progress of every child. According to her, the individual academic plan for every student will help in improving the performance of the pupils.
'In grooming our pupils for SSCE and NECO exams, we start from the very onset, which is the SS1 class. Education is segmented now, so we have the junior and senior segment. For the senior segment, we start training them right from SS1. Their grading in class tests and exams is done according to WAEC standard. From this point, the child knows exactly where he or she stands.'
She attributed the dismal failure rates in public examinations to belated preparation by students in terminal classes. She advised parents to always look out for schools with the right work ethics for the enrolment of their children.
'In the field of education, failure is always as a result of poor preparation. A pupil who does not have prerequisite foundation cannot do well in examination. That is exactly what we work against because we know from the onset that our excellence is built on righteousness. Pupils must write their exams unaided because when they finish their studies from here, they are not only representing their families but the college', she said.
To maintain the standard, the Principal called for regular training programmes of teachers. She said the college usually exposes the teachers to regular international conferences and seminar in order to keep them abreast with new information in the education system.
According to the Principal, some children of parents in the diaspora are in the college because in addition to WASSCE and NECO SSCE, it also organises the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the SAT Reasoning Test (SAT), the Cambridge examinations and Degree Foundation programmes.
One of the students, Perez Adeleja, who came from Ukraine, said that studying in Nigeria has exposed him to community life through mutual interaction with other students in the class and hostel.
Also speaking, Uche Ogunedo, who came from United States, said there is no much difference in the teaching method when compared with his former school in America. Although, he spoke in clear American accent, he was unable to utter any word in his local Igbo language. However, he said the college has improved his relationship with other students, describing the academic work and extra-curricular activities of the school as unique.
The Registrar of the Degree Foundation/ A'level programme, Ekeshili Kennedy, said the college is affiliated with renowned universities abroad, which makes admission easier for students who successfully complete the programme.
While taking journalists round the school, the Administrator, Dr. Olu Ajayi, explained that modern learning facilities found in reputable institutions abroad were purposely brought to the school to make it a world-class institution. If these facilities are in place and the comfort of learning provided, then students would have no excuse for failure, he added.
Dr Ajayi said the school preaches greatness to the young ones as shown in the array of pictures of heroic celebrities adorning its walls. The portraits, which he said were purposely displayed to inspire them include: Daniel Olukoya, Nelson Mandella, Enoch Adeboye, Kofi Annan, Emeka Anyaoku, Dora Akunyili, Barack Obama, Okonjo Iweala, Babatunde Raji Fashola and Oprah Wilfery.