A few days ago we sat down with the principal of Moret College, Surulere to discuss the school and what they have to offer for the people of Surulere, in terms of education.
Her 27 years of experience in education and commitment to teacher’s training, make her the perfect principal of the school any parent wants their child to be in.
May we know you?
I’m Mrs. Susan Olushola Ayeni. I’m the principal of the Moret College – 18 Olukole Street, off Ogunlana Street, Surulere, Lagos.
Tell us about the school, the foundation- where you started
The Moret College is part of Nickdel group of schools. It is the baby because she has 9 siblings. The owners of Nickdel schools are highly experienced in education. In fact, the first private school in Ibadan came out from this family- the Adeleke’s – from Chief Mrs. Modupeola Adeleke and we thank God that this business of education has been their source of livelihood.
They’ve helped raise many great kids and Moret college being the baby in Lagos is a very big opportunity for Lagosians to tap into the experience of the Adeleke’s in terms of education. When you check Nickdel Schools here in Surulere, you will know that we brought the education background of Ibadan to Lagos. People in Lagos have been enjoying it. So the secondary school of Nickdel is now Moret College. I know that with the British and Nigerian curriculum we want to use, parents and their children will really benefit a lot from it.
What are the classes available for entry?
We are starting from JSS 1. In fact, we have already started since last session; we are only solidifying the foundation. By the grace of God we are continuing with JSS 1-3 this academic session. This academic session is the autumn term because we are using British curriculum well blended with Nigeria.
What are those facilities you have in your school that makes it different from other schools?
Well, I can tell you that the location is very fantastic; we have a serene and beautiful learning environment. All our classes are fully air-conditioned.
We have an ultra-modern ICT center with one computer per student, a well-blended British-Nigerian curriculum, teaching and learning with electronic interactive board. We have a well-equipped library, music and creative art studio, standby generator, fully air-conditioned shuttle buses, a functional sickbay. Above all, we boast of qualified and highly experienced and devoted teachers to take these children.
We expose our children to co-curricular activities including the youth club, boys scout, girls’ guild, jets, and fellowship. We are even planning to expose them to swimming lessons. To make the children face the crowd, we will be starting the debating club so that they will be able to talk in the public. We realize in this school that the majority of Lagosians work late so we have a secured after school care. So, when you phone us that you will arrive home late, the environment is okay for your child. You can book for lunch to take care of your child till you come.
Elaborate more about that after school care
The after-school care has to do with assigning teachers to children. After the whole school lesson/session, parents might come late. Once we are called, the teachers on duty will assist the children in their assignment, make sure that they have their lunch. We also allow them to rest because this school has boarding and day facilities. So in the boarding school, we have rooms for children that want to stay in for after-school care.
How affordable is your school?
It is highly affordable. When you compare what we have on ground to what we’re charging, it is very reasonable. This is a school where they can get more for a reasonable amount.
Statistics show that over 80% of secondary school leavers fail WAEC exams. According to research, one of the reasons is that teachers don’t have regular teachers training. Another reason is the social media that is really reducing the quality of education. The third reason is that schools are not creative enough in delivering quantitative education. They are more interested in students passing exams. And the fourth; some parents are playing a role in destroying the education system. So, what is Moret College’s solution to this menace in the educational system?
Starting from the teachers training, this school is going to expose teachers to CPD which means Continuous Professional Development. This is a training which is part of the British curriculum where teachers will be given topics to go and make research. This will be done under my watchful eyes and personal supervision.
I personally have 27 years’ experience in this education. I started from cradle to university with 7 years exposure in the university as the faculty manager before becoming the head teacher, counselor, principal. I love professional development. and you have to make sure that you carry your teachers along. We are going to be exposing teachers here to professional development with the aid of projector or with the use of interactive whiteboards. This is something that they are going to be doing weekly.
What about the WAEC examinations, how do you make sure that these kids know what you are teaching them not that they are cramming it?
That is why I started with the teachers; you can’t impact what you don’t know. So when we expose teachers to the right training, they will be able to go in-depth to source for teaching aids. This will ensure they see things physically and not only theoretically. They will be able to feel them and ask questions because teachers will use this as scaffolding to help the children to mount up examples.
We are not going to teach children abstract things, rather practical things and the enabling environment is going to be so conducive for children to ask questions. We can’t take more than 12; at most 15 in one class. So there is an inter-personal discussion, individual attention for every child. Moret School is not a school where teachers intimidate because we want our children to be bold. We train them to be eloquent and at the same time ask questions. Teachers must start from known to unknown while delivering.
Also, we’re going to use previous questions while teaching the children. This will help them be familiar with the way WAEC ask questions and our teachers will use that as stepping stone in setting their own questions.
What do you think the government can do generally in this country to help improve the value of education?
If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. Why private schools are thriving in Nigeria is because of the standard which is lacking in some public schools. Standard in terms of discipline. It will be difficult for them in the private schools not to go to classrooms to teach because they know that parents are paying and they can come and ask questions.
Anything that is cheap is always taken for granted. I am not saying the government should ask people to pay because there is no money but the PTA can do something, no matter how small to assist the government. The money can be used in at least repairs of classroom structures or adding value to teachers. The PTA body will be able to use the money to do little renovations- broken chairs, doors, floors… so that all the time, Nigerian children can have a well-equipped classroom. If the money is judiciously utilized, it will have a massive effect.
Do you live in Surulere?
What do you love about Surulere?
Well! I am a new person to Surulere because I came from Abuja. But since I came in, I love the beauty, serenity, and security. Though it is a bubbling center of Lagos, the roads are not really okay. Lagos state should look inward and help fix the road.