As Nazareth School, Festac Town sets to roll out drums, in celebration of 40 years anniversary and unbroken academic records, Mr. Basil Emenike Onwumbiko, Chairman, Parents, Teachers Association (PTA), in this interview with Editorial Team of The Catholic Herald Weekly Newspaper recounts his experience and the journey so far and expectations during the three-daylong celebration. Excerpts
For the sake of this interview, may we know you sir?
My name is Mr. Basil Emenike Onwumbiko a banker, an Economist and a Chartered Accountant. I am the current Managing Partner of Basil Onwumbiko & Co (Chartered Accountants). I have over 15 years cognate experiences in the areas of investment banking, corporate audits, financial planning and management, tax planning, business and other related advisory services. I am married to Mrs. Theresa Obiamaka Onwumbiko (a Nutritionist) and a grateful parent of Nazareth School. I am also in the current leadership of Nazareth School Parents Teachers Association. How long have you been the PTA Chairman of Nazareth School and when we’re you appointed? I had been in the board of the Nazareth School PTA since 2016, but was elected the PTA Chairman of this noble school in July, 2021. I have followed the affairs in the school for about 7 years out of which 2 years as PTA Chairman.
Can you briefly tell us what informed this anniversary and what the school intend to achieve thereafter?
Nazareth School, Festac as we all know is one of the foremost primary schools in Nigeria. The institution has continued to produce lots of prominent and successful professionals in different life endeavours, within and outside the country. A Nazareth pupil is always outstanding in character, morals, performance, etc. The school has won so many laurels in Nigeria, West Africa and Africa as a whole. The academic standards maintained by the school have always been wonderful that everyone wants to be associated with the school in one way or another. We as parents will continue to thank God for this noble gift of Nazareth School and also being associated with its success story now. Looking back from the inception of the school 40 years ago and the products of the school we do not have to say more than to give thanks to God Almighty for the gift of this great institution; to thank the founders for their dreams, the proprietors, managers/supervisors, staff, for keeping the light burning till date. To also thank all the ex and current pupils, parents for living out the dream, the Festac community, the benefactors, etc. for their supports to the great institution.
This anniversary celebration is simply to say thank you! It’s on record that Nazareth is among, if not one of the best schools in Festac, what can you tell us about this rating?
Nazarene as the pupils are being called are just an outstanding specie, very pragmatic in thinking, action, sound morals and character, etc. The products are just very outstanding and incomparable with other schools’ pupil not only in Festac but beyond. Nazareth School, Festac sets the standards and others emulate.
What should we look out for during the anniversary celebrations?
We are inviting not just the Nazareth Family but everyone from all walks of life to come and celebrate a seed that was sown 40 years ago and the fruits it has produced over the years. We are rolling out drums to celebrate the achievements of the school in just 3 days. The events will commence by 9a.m each day. The anniversary celebrations will kick start on Thursday, October 26, 2023 with health check, walk/ roadshow through the streets of Festac Town to announce the events and to invite people of goodwill to come and celebrate with our great institution. Thereafter, there will be health talks anchored by the ex-pupils of the school who have distinguished themselves in different medical fields. The next day Friday, October 27, 2023 will be cultural fiesta where all the cultures in Nigeria will be celebrated. The life styles of the six geo-political zones of the country will be showcased. People are invited to feel the distinguished talents of our wonderful kids as they display the foods, dressings, dances, emotions, sentiments and the rich cultures of Nigeria. Nobody can wish to miss these displays. On Saturday, October 28, 2023 will be the chronicle of the whole event which will be the celebration and awards giving to distinguished ladies and gentlemen including organizations that have served and supported the institution and our communities in one way or the other. Sunday, October 29, will be the Thanksgiving Day proper which will be celebrated by His Grace, Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos with 10.30am Mass at the Holy Family Catholic Church, 22 Road, Festac Town.
Has the School had a major celebration like this in the past?
It is on record that the school celebrated her 25 years anniversary with various activities that marked the occasion. The celebration was well distinguished as Nazareth School is a distinguished institution. The planning committee of this 40th Anniversary comprising of the PTA Executives, the School supervisors, teachers, teachers, parents and non-academics staff has packaged memorable events to thrill and entertain the guests all through the celebrations.
Can you tell us concretely what the PTA under you has achieved in terms of moving the school forward?
This PTA leadership came up with various supports towards improving the welfare of the teachers and staff of the institution. For our pupils to continue to get the best, the teachers and staff must be well taken care of. We also invested in the school’s teaching materials and infrastructures. The ambiance of the school as a great citadel of learning was not left out, we aim for the best learning environment for our pupils. Peace and harmony have always been a fertile ground for growth and productivity. We have always worked hard to never compromise them. We have tried within our means to support teachers, parents and pupils facing some sorts of challenges directly or indirectly. Although resources are so limited and inflation is taking its haul on the economy, we will to continue to strive to achieve more.
Nazareth School is known for its academic prowess – Sr. Ugwoegbu, RSC, Sister-in-Charge
SR. IRENE CHINAEGBOMKPA UGWOEGBU, RSC is the Sister-in-Charge of Nazareth School, Festac Town. In this interview, Sr. Ugwoegbu bares her mind to The Catholic Herald Weekly Newspaper Editorial team on what makes Nazareth school unique and why it is a must for all pupils of school age to attend. She also spoke glowingly on her experience why the school is celebrating at this time. Excerpts
Can we please meet you and what is your position in Nazareth School?
My name is Sr. Irene Chinaegbomkpa Ugwoegbu, RSC.
What is Nazareth celebrating and why now?
Nazareth School is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its existence.
Can you tell us what makes Nazareth unique from other schools around you?
The holistic formation given to the children, dedication and commitment of the staff and quality education make Nazareth very unique.
What do you intend to achieve for organizing a whole three days long anniversary?
Nazareth School has stood the test of time and has achieved several major milestones. We want to have a lasting memory of our anniversary. Besides this, we scheduled to have our cultural fiesta in February but the pre-election concerns hindered us. That is why we are ceasing this opportunity to celebrate this October.
Can you share your experience being here as a Reverend Sister and for how long have you been in Nazareth?
I have been here for a little over two years. My experience of this place is a blend of different flavours. Most importantly, it has been a learning experience.
Can you talk a brief on the academic performance of the school and the pupils?
Excellence is our signature. Nazareth School is known for its academic prowess. The school has remained unbeatable in academic performance and has continued till this day.
Apart from Festac, do you have branch anywhere?
Our sisters work in other parts of Lagos that include Kirikiri Town, Satellite Town both in Lagos. We are equally present in Port Harcourt, Abbi, Ozoro and Bomadi in Delta State. We are also in Ibadan.
Do you enjoy at anytime the support of old boys and girls?
I have been privileged to interact with a few of them. The alumni association is still coming up in our school. We intend to officially inaugurate the group during the grand-finale of the anniversary.
What message do you have for the parents of the pupils?
Dear parents, it has been a wonderful experience here in Nazareth School. Keep on doing your best for your children and the school. Dear pupils of Nazareth School, you have been one of a kind. I remember and cherish so many of our encounters. May you continue to be your best. I trust you. Do Nazareth, your family and Nigeria proud.
Any regret being here? If yes, what are those and again what is your plans for the school going forward?
No regrets. It has been a learning experience. Going forward, I hope for the best.