The Federal and state governments have been urged to continue to support school operators in its commitment to the reduction in the population of out of school children.
The United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) had conservatively put the population of out of school children in Nigeria at over 10 million.
Speaking at the 13th graduation and Prize Giving Ceremony of Diamonds Mine Nursery and Primary School, Ifako-Ijaiye, on Tuesday, a businessman Mr Olasoji Isaac Fadirepo, said the government needs to make the sector attractive to investors.
Fadirepo who was Chairman at the event said the federal government needs to continue to support private schools investors who are helping to bridge the gap and ensure more pupils are taken away from the streets and trained to become responsible citizens.
Fadirepo, who commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to increase investment to the education sector by 50 percent, said government must continue to provide an enabling environment to the private investors in the sector for the nation to succeed in the quest to make education available to all.
Addressing the graduands, Fadirepo said the graduands should continue to be a good ambassador of the school wherever they found themselves.
He praised the parents for investing their time and resources on their children, urging them to continue to do more as the secondary level of education to which the pupils aspire is more intensive and would demand more from both parents and pupils.
He commended the school for the quality of academic excellence imparted on the pupils, adding that as a parent himself, he can attest to the quality of sound training and teaching by the school.
“I can say authoritatively that any discerning parent who desires the best for their children needs to come to Diamonds Mine School. Within the short time that I have brought my children here, I have seen the difference in their academic lives. The school is trying and the children are proof of what they are doing in the school.”
Earlier in her speech, the school Proprietress, Mrs Romoke Aderibigbe, said she is proud that all the graduating pupils can hold their own and compete favourably with their peers anywhere in the world.
She said just like their predecessors who from the reports from various schools where they continue to win accolades and top their classes, this set, who have been seasoned by the quality teachers, would continue to make the school proud.
She said during the session, the school competed in Mathematics competition as well as the Lagos State Spelling Bee competition where they were rated 13 overall best school in the state.
This is apart from the various extra curricular activities to which they belonged among them are the Indomitable Club by Indomie, the Little Champions Club by Milo drink and several others, adding that the school had been picked as a centre of excellence by Milo for teens champions club.
Mrs Aderibigbe commended all the parents whose commitment to their children in the payment of school fees and appropriate textbooks have continued to make the difference in the lives of their wards. She urged them not to relent in investing in their children in spite of the trying times as nothing invested in the children is wasted..
“I can only urge you to continue to be a good parent to these kids. Continue to show them you care. Continue to show them that you are interested in their future. Continue to put their needs above yours and continue to find a way of paying their school fees.”
Addressing the graduands, the Proprietress urged them to continue to be good ambassadors of the school. “I want you to know that as you have graduated from here, you have become a member of the alumni of this school. You should know that it is not time to relax in your academics as secondary school requires more and would tax you more. Continue to read your books because readers are leaders.
“Don’t join bad gangs. Don’t allow peer pressure to derail your glorious future. Continue to be good and dutiful children. Show more understanding to your parents. Be good, studious pupils and let us continue to hear good reports from.you and your school.”
Parents were entertained to various presentations by the graduating and other pupils ranging from Bata dance, South African Dance, Ape Dance from Ijebu and a dance drama titled Courage in tough times.
There were other presentations like radio news broadcast, kindergarten presentations and farewell presentations.
Highlights of the event were Prize Giving to selected pupils from kindergarten school and primary schools, as well as cash awards to the overall staff and two runners up.
Serial winner Mrs Temitope Amos, who again emerged winner went home with a commendation letter and N10,000 cash, while the first and second runners up, Mr Akeem Adetunji, (school driver) and Mrs Blessing Alaafia (cleaner), won N5,000 and N3,000 respectively.