Public school pupils win scholarship as Berkley Science

Magnet School partners Ogudu Nursery and Primary School

By Olaleye Abiola

Children's Day2013 took on special resonance for pupils of Ogudu Nursery and Primary School, a public school, as their private school counterparts of neighbouring Berkley Science Magnet School showered them with gifts sourced from their parents.

Two pupils, Miss Haisat Abubakar, an orphan and Master Promise Ihegadinma, also won scholarships to attend the high brow school.

Officials of the School Education Board from Lagos State, Mrs O Oyesoro and the supervising Kosofe Local Council Development Area Mrs Folake Ajayi, watched and applauded the move by Berkley School as the pupils interacted and presented gifts.

Dr. Maria Onyia, Chief Operating Officer of Berkley Science Magnet School, said the specialised school decided to adopt the public school as part of its annual Community Service programme “to contribute positively to student learning and teacher development”.

It also aimed at teaching her pupils from well-endowed homes the virtues of sharing and giving. “I believe that this visit will benefit both student groups. Ogudu Nursery and Primary School students will appreciate the fellowship, friendship and supplies brought to school by our children. Even more, our children will develop renewed appreciation for what they have and the parents that work hard to provide them with opportunities that other children do not enjoy.”

Berkley School mobilised gifts of backpacks, toys, socks, pencils, notebooks, rulers, textbooks, story books, and other essential supplies for primary school pupils from parents of their own pupils for the gifts to Ogudu Nursery & Primary School pupils. It donated items worth over N100, 000 while the scholarships are worth more than N500 000 per pupil per annum.

In previous years, Berkley Science School had taken its pupils on tree planting, street cleaning, visits and donations to an orphanage and visit and donation to Ogudu Police Post as part of their annual Community Service Programme.

Speaking about the motivation for the programme, Onyia who obtained her PhD in Education from Walden University in the United States said she was motivated to contribute to the society. “In a state like Lagos where Governor Fashola is working very hard, I am encouraged to support the government and, like Pastor Sam Adeyemi preaches on the need for all of us to give back. We must look for how to serve. We must reach out and try to level the playing ground for all people.”

Onyia said a key issue was teaching pupils of Berkley School to see that all children whatever their socio-economic backgrounds are still children. She added, “We have offered to maintain the relationship with our adopted school by sharing resources and providing training for the teachers. One day, we will ship in a container load of resources and share to the students. We have goodwill abroad. If they allow us train the teachers, they will be getting free world class training. We charge a lot of money for that.”

The school head noted that “it is a blessing to bless any child and I am a product of the public school system. I have five California teaching credentials and I hold a Doctor of Education education from a world class university. I am a Walden Scholar of positive social change. We are taught to look around and do something.”