AT the Strategic School Management and Outstanding Private Schools Merit Awards organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Education in conjunction with Family Affairs Consultancy Limited, Logos International Secondary School (LOGISS), a mission school located in Awo-Omamma, Imo State, whose motto is “Academic Excellence and Godliness of the Youth” stood out among the other honorees selected from among the countless private schools scattered across Nigeria.
The event which took place at the International Conference Centre, Garki, Abuja, saw the Previous Director of Logos International Secondary Schools, Pastor Bede Ogu, singled out and invited to the podium to tell the various representatives of other private secondary schools selected for the award the story of LOGISS – how it has grown from a dream to its present enviable state.
Addressing the audience, Pastor Ogu traced how the journey to what is today known as LOGISS started in 1994 “with a mandate that was truly divine” which was given to the General Superintendent of the Watchman Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement (WCCRM), Pastor A.C. Ohanebo, “to start a secondary school to help to restore the quality of education in Nigeria and to bring the youths to discipline once again in the school system.”
He announced that the WCCRM plans to set up at least one secondary school in every state of the federation.
“It took off in October 1994 … [and we] have been able by the grace of God to train and send out students that have represented this nation in various nations of the world. Our students are noted for academic excellence and godly character. Indeed they have excelled and have been able to distinguish themselves in various fields in various nations. I have had the opportunity to visit them in the various nations where they have been and their testimonies have always been the same,” Pastor Ogu told the gathering which reacted with an applause.
Speaking on the impact made across the world by former students of LOGISS, Pastor Ogu said: “we have students in almost all the continents of the world that have graduated from our school and have had very good and wonderful recommendations from the various places. One of those institutions wrote to our school and called our students ‘legendary Nigerians’. We sent some students to India and the number one private university there turned them down saying that they had closed admissions to Nigerians (that they have blacklisted Nigerians) because of what some students from Nigeria did in that school. I was sent to go to the head of the school and insist that we are bringing a different brand of students. Eventually, they gave admissions to those students. Today the Nigerian students from us are the people they are using to advertise the school in Western nations. In fact, last year that university (SRM University) came to Nigeria for a drive for students because of what the students we sent there have represented Nigeria for.”
Speaking on how LOGISS has maintained zero-tolerance for malpractices, Pastor Ogu said: “We intend also to bring to the knowledge of fellow participants here today our fight against examination malpractice. This is what we are noted for. All the examination bodies know LOGISS as a zero-tolerance institution as far as examination malpractice is concerned. Today, we are proud to say that our students, when they finish answering the questions they know in the examination hall, bend over their seats and sleep instead of walking out or ‘giraffing’ or doing one thing or the other. The people that came from Minna for NECO and from Lagos for WAEC testified to this. At a point the registrar of NECO after reading the reports concerning the state of exam conduct in the school sent three people particularly to monitor the school that year to ensure that there was no manipulation in the reports. By the time they finished observing our examinations for that year, the report they went away with was better than what they came to investigate.”
Pastor Ogu thanked the organizers for the recognition accorded LOGISS.
“I am particularly happy to be part of this occasion. We didn’t dream that we would get to this point. We only wanted to contribute our little quota with the best we could with the available resources to the reformation of education in Nigeria. I remember when graduates from American universities were rated lower than the people that graduated from Nigerian universities. I talked with somebody in the US who was placed on grade level seven while I was placed on grade level eight as the starting point because I studied in Nigeria. Graduates from India were not recognized at all. But, today the reverse is the case. I believe that as we team up with the government and do our best, this trend will gradually be reversed and Nigeria will come up again to take its rightful position in the comity of nations,” he said, as the participants clapped again.
The programme had kicked off about 8.00 am that day with what the organizers termed a one-day “National Merit Award Summit” where several papers dwelling on the requirements for raising and sustaining private schools of high standards were presented. At the end of it all, participants from the various private schools were presented with Certificates of Participation.
In an address distributed to the participants before the presentation of the awards that evening, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Education, Mr. Aminu Suleiman, described the occasion as “the greatest evidence” of his committee’s “resolve to reposition the educational sector” which he said “is the key element to a sustainable global competitiveness.” The House Education Committee, he said “unreservedly identifies with this meritorious award majorly because it radiates excellence and also because it is long overdue.”
“This sector remains a key driver and critical enabler of sustainable growth… Let me register the determination and commitment of the Committee and by extension the whole National Assembly to bring transformation to the sector through quality legislation and through other means within the committee’s legislative capacity,” he said.
In an interview after the event, the former principal of LOGISS, Pastor Precious Ahiaogu, said that when the assessment committee visited his school during the process of selecting winners for the award, they had greatly marvelled at the structures and facilities they saw at the school. “So, we were not surprised when we got the letter informing us that we have been chosen for the award,” he said.
*Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye, Chief Editor (Voice of the Last Days Ministry),a Nigerian Journalist and Writer is a columnist with a Nigerian national newspaper. www.ugowrite.blogspot.com; @ugowrite)
The Former Director of Logos International Schools, Pastor Bede Ogu (left), and the Former Principal, Pastor Precious Ahiaogu, displaying the award to LOGISS at the International Conference Centre, Garki, Abuja
Pastor Bede Ogu addressing the audience
Participants…Ex-LOGISS students with the Former Principal and Director
Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye with Pastor Bede Ogu
Cross-section of participants