“Many people have lost their ways and never came back; they died in cultism, sexual immorality (HIV/AIDS) because they took life for granted.”
The Ven. Andrew Ukaejiofor said this at this year’s Valedictory Service and Graduation Ceremony of Anglican Girls Grammar School Apo, Gudu district, Abuja. He gave examples of many girls who took many decisions on their own and thus had retarded lives. He admonished the outgoing students not to take life for granted because according to him, the Bible says that the way that leads to joy and happiness is the way of the Lord. He urged them to seek counsel unlike the prodigal son. Ven. Ukaejiofor said that the Anglican girls should avoid regrets, disappointment and embarrassment by seeking counsel of their parents, Pastors and elderly ones, so as not to live a life of regrets.
The Cleric who illustrated and gave admonition using the story of the prodigal son as his text, urged the girls not to live wild lives like the prodigal son because according to him, it never pays. He cited examples of ladies having extra-marital sex in amorous adulterous relationship and girls having pre-marital sex in fornication. Ven. Ukaejiofor said that the prodigal son had the opportunity to return and he did, but many have lost their fortunes and never came back.
The Guest Speaker at the occasion, Mrs. Ike who spoke on the challenges of transition from Secondary to Tertiary education pointed out that the challenges faced by Secondary school leavers on transition to the university are enormous; however, she added that a child of God will always overcome. She made this assertion during her speech given at the graduation ceremony of the Anglican Girls Grammar School, Gudu Abuja. She emphasized that out of the nation’s 6-3-3-4 system of education, the last level (4) has the most challenges adding that the university provides a person’s first experience of direct contact with individuals who are diverse, with different socio-economic backgrounds, live alternative life styles, have similar academic achievement levels and have a different sexual orientation.
The Guest speaker highlighted some of these challenges faced, such as the independence fostered by university environment which contrary to the secondary school leave the students unguided with no strict monitoring. Hence, according to her some, who have become burdened with responsibilities that they are ill equipped to handle, choose not to attend lectures, wear whatever they like, experiment on drugs and alcohol, spend the night outside their rooms and co-habit with the opposite sex.
Also, to her, the mode of lecturing (Independent learner approach) which involves staff that are often inaccessible and too fast while dictating, and where the student is overwhelmed by the volume of reading that has to be completed in a relatively short period of time, make it difficult for students to adjust to the teaching style employed at the university. Other challenges she mentioned include; time management, negative peer group influence, cultism, sexual harassment from lecturers and students alike, lack of confidence, and high expectations from parents or guardians.
She drew a contrast between the operations in tertiary education and that of the secondary school pointing out that in the former there was a lot of monitoring and guidance that ensures that students follow the rules and regulations; however in the latter there was ample room to act and behave as one likes hence, a lot of people get carried away by this freedom and adopt lifestyles that are unacceptable in their secondary schools and homes.
Mrs. Ike concluded by proffering a few solutions that would help a student in this transition period. According to her, a Christian should rely on the word of God, adopt a lifestyle of prayer, attend fellowships and determine to be the light to the world. Furthermore, she prayed that they all receive the grace to overcome all challenges and be a blessing to their parents and the nation at large.
Altogether, 154 SS3 students from four classes graduated at the ceremony. Miss Ilesanmi Teminiye Teniola became cynosure of all eyes as she collected many of the prizes and came out as the overall best in academic award for 2013. The AGGS also known as A Godly Girl’s school scored so many firsts in achievements, awards competition with other secondary schools between 2012 and 2013.