The Principal, teachers, distinguished guests and students, good morning. I stand before you today with much excitement and humility, for it is a great honor to be in the midst of people who are in the business of molding and shaping people. First of all, I must commend all the teachers here for the excellent work you do. In my opinion, calling you, teachers don’t do justice to your job here because you do much more than teaching, you shape the future. That is, you teach, lead, guide, discipline, play, and sometimes give your resources to these students. From the very moment, a child becomes a student to graduation; they spend more time with their teacher than anyone else.
This makes the teacher a significant influencer of society and teaching more of a huge responsibility than a profession. Please let us appreciate our teachers who have decided to take on this responsibility by giving them a round of applause. Dear students, this a crucial stage in your life. It is the stage where you want to know and experience everything. It is also the stage in your lives where you find it challenging to listen to people who know and have experienced the things you long for. This is because too many things are happening within and around you. The hormones set in and the little girl becomes and young lady. The little boy notices some changes too, and now he wants to explore and prove that he is no longer that little boy. This makes you want to rush everything and skip life’s processes. I will like to advise you as someone who has been where you are and understands the current state of your minds: any other thing trying to take your attention away from your academics is a huge and terrible distraction. Run away from such things.
I want you to know that this is the last phase where you would be forced to do anything. The secondary school is the last place that you will be mandated to do the right thing and disciplined when you don’t. The next learning phase after this is called college. In college, the expectations from you are higher, and the level of discipline and focus required for you to succeed are higher because there are higher distractions there than what you face now. So, it is expedient that you are adequately prepared for the next phase of your lives.
This brings me to our focal message. I know you are schooling but are you learning? And if you say you are, what are you learning? Are you learning only Math, English, Biology, Economics and all other subjects? Or you are also learning, leadership, discipline, creativity, prudence, time management, manners, respect, and other virtues that are crucial for success in life? I am asking you this question because your end of term examination only tests your knowledge of these subjects, but life is the examination that tests everything about you. My message to you, therefore, is to learn and excel in both academic and social skills, so that you won’t be described as a brilliant obscene student or the best graduating student with addiction(s).
I also want to advise you run away from negative friendships or associations. If you surround yourself with people who are unproductive, negative, and lack focus, it will just be a matter of time before you get influenced and begin to behave like them, after all, you are the average of the five people you associate with. Build positive and meaningful friendships and be part of productive associations. Spend more time discussing solutions than problems. Be the solution to the issues we face as a nation and not part of the problem. Nigeria needs you; Africa needs you; your generation needs you, and you can’t afford to disappoint. We at Ane Osiobe International Foundation are here to support you because we believe in you and the nation of Nigeria. We are optimistic about our future and that of our great country because of people like you. Our message is hope, and we are hopeful that the students we see today are going to be the best leaders and solution providers the world has ever had.
We shall all meet at the top, and the beauty of it all is that we will know each other. Thank you. If you’re hearing about our foundation for the first time, follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Ane Osiobe International Foundation,