In Anambra, Cleric Counsel School Proprietors On Grooming World Changers Not Profit
From Emeka Attah, Onitsha
Worried by the increasing vices among youths in Nigeria in the midst of proliferation of private and mission owned schools, an Anglican cleric in Anambra State has appealed to proprietors of private schools to focus on grooming better youths who will make the world a better place instead of counting the monetary gains they will make at the end of each term.
Ven. Ikechukwu Elobisi of St Paul’s Church Alor, Idemili South local government area gave this charge recently during the commissioning of the new school extension and graduation ceremony of Ebelechukwu Group of Schools, Nkpor Anambra State.
Elobisi described those who have the passion to establish schools as a call to the ministry of molding the future and destiny of many children and for that reason, sacrifice and painstaking efforts are required to succeed in such ventures instead of those who enter into such business with a mindset to make money.
He urged the entire staff of Ebelechukwu School not to derail in inculcating good morals on the students while commending the director for the extension of such service to humanity.
“We thank God, It’s a wonderful edifice where the young ones will be trained. It’s an establishment for Primary and secondary schools. Ebelechukwu is a philanthropist and a humanitarian. He loves giving. He has committed his resources and finances to ensure those peoples’ lives are touched because school fees here is very affordable compared with the structure he put in place.
“He has given loan facilities to women to expand their businesses, established skill acquisitions institutions where people are being trained and drilled boreholes in churches and schools. We thank God for his ministry” the cleric said.
The School Proprietor Mr. Timothy Ebelechukwu Chukwukelu in his remarks said the security of lives and properties of teachers and students of the school is guaranteed following the installation of CCTV camera in the school.
He said the institution, which ranks one of the best in the East of the Niger, also provided a laptop set to all her secondary school students, aimed at provided quality education to the students.
The Anambra born but German-based Timothy said the security camera system will help to create a safe and secure environment for both staff and students and equally monitor teachers and student’s activities in the institution.
He noted that he was inspired to invest in education due to pride of place of education in western countries where he works, which, according to him, he wants to replicate in Nkpor, his home town.
“I observed that our people face so many difficulties in accessing education and that is what inspired our vision to invest in education. Ours is to provide quality education at a highly affordable price for every child. We want the basic education to rise.
“A philosopher, Albert Pike said ‘when we have done things for ourselves alone, it dies with us, but what we have done for others and the world, remains and is immortal’ and that is what Ebelechukwu stands for”
“I am privileged to have studied abroad and work abroad; I have always been fascinated by the pride of place accorded to schools especially in developed world. This fascination stirred up in me, a burning desire to reciprocate the idea of such schools back home and in the process, give back to my community and my society. Ebelechukwus believes in giving back” he said.
He however called on the parents and care givers to avail themselves of the opportunity of raising their children in such quality but affordable institution.
“We thank you all for keying in our vision of developing the potentials of every child through the provision of quality and affordable education. We inculcate in children, strong moral values, and well thought physical training and to achieve this, we put in place certain academic innovations.
“Here, we have a family size classroom for better learning, we have computer lab, Physics, Biology and Chemistry laboratories, standard school library, laptops for our secondary school kids, and we have CCTV for guidance and security because we place high premium on security.
“Our secondary school is endowed with a hostel and I challenge friends and well wishers to avail their children and ward the opportunity to live in such hostel. Our academic excellence was rewarded during the recently held Cowbell Mathematics competition where we came second in Anambra state and Ebelechukwu Nursery school took first position during 2018 Children’s day celebration in Idemili North Local Government Area” he said.
His wife, Gabriella, a German who was visibly elated during the ceremony that attracted crème de la crème of the society including traditional rulers, clergy, politicians and business men and women expressed gratitude to God for the growth of the school.
She noted that the school that started with less than 30 students two years ago is now more than 500 students, even as she thanked parents and teachers for being part of the development.
The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on Housing Matters, Mr. Ernest Nwangwu and the Transition Committee Chairman of Idemili North Local Government Area, Hon. Raphael Nnabuife, represented by Hon. Chris Ogham in their separate speeches, extolled the virtues of Ebelechukwu and his wife, Gabriela in developing Nkpor community by drilling boreholes in almost all public schools in the community.
Others who poured encomium on the philanthropist and his wife include the traditional Prime Minister of Nkpor Kingdom, Chief Emma Ifejika, former member representing Idemili North and South at the National Assembly, Dr CC Okeke, Frank Muolokwu Esq and Father of the Day, Mr. Ben Chukwukelu Esq.
Others are representatives of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) and members of Anambra branch of Guinness Fans Club of Nigeria who donated sets of computer to the school.
Earlier before the commissioning of the new school, Timothy Ebelechechukwu and his Wife Gabriella had lunch together with the boarding students of Ebelechukwu Secondary School.
The lunch time which the students of the school will cherish for a long time has become an integral part of the school program which the Proprietor noted was designed as a way of bonding with the students to make them feel at home.
Some of the boarding students, Modilim Benedicta Chisom, Kabonye Nnaemeka and Agina Somtochukwu Kelly described the boarding experience as a home away from home. They noted that they are treated like blood children of the proprietors while they have been trained on how to manage their resources, maximum use of their time and how to balance their study time with prayers and leisure.
Speaking on the idea behind the lunch with the students and why they continue to put their resources into educational services without focusing on profit, Timothy Ebelechukwu said :
“The idea is part of the inspiration. Like I always tell people, I’m inspired not influenced. It’s just like the motto of the school- inspired to aspire. The inspiration from the spirit of God made us to understand that we are one family here. The children are all here alone without their parents but it could be a great event to have lunch with them. I did it last year and realize that they were very happy. It gave them a sense of belonging and I said to myself that the entire family will now be part of this henceforth.
“We are living in a harsh environment but I know that grooming children needs encouragement and assistance and that’s what we are doing. I tell them stories for them to realize that there is no shortcut to success. It is my hope that more people will come in because I see lots of potentials in them. I see future Governors here.
The German wife, Gabriella in a chat expressed delight that the vision they conceived years back on a piece of paper is now taking shape.
“It is not the building but the people. My husband and I have it in our hearts to be mothers and fathers to these children, to help them get wonderful education so they can care for their family, the society and the nation and we do everything that we can to make this possible. We are also happy for their matron and patron who care for them too. God does the rest and we are very happy about this” she said.