..as institution holds Open Day 2024

By Ime Silas

St Columbanus Secondary School, Ikwen (SCOSSI), Obot Akara Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State on Friday, February 2, held at the school compound its 2024 Open Day codenamed: SODES 2024 with a call on parents and guardians to secure their children’s future by choosing good schools for them. The event had pupils from sister schools in attendance.

Addressing the pupils during his welcome address, the Principal of the School, Rev. Fr. Emem Umoren said he invited the children to St Columbanus Secondary School to avail them the opportunity to interact with his students as well as appreciate the school environment, among others.

He said “I invited you to come and see the uniqueness of St Columbanus Secondary School, Ikwen. The invitation was also to show you that after your current nursery and primary schools, which is the best, there’s another school which is one of the bests around. It is called St Columbanus Secondary School, Ikwen.

I want all of you to try and also pray that after your primary schools, you will be admitted into St Columbanus Secondary School. But one thing is that we want only serious and good children to be here. At St Columbanus, we train children to become the best in the society”.

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Earlier, during a media briefing in his office, the Principal described St Columbanus Secondary School as a uniquely unique institution with some special attributes that stood it out as best among the bests.

“Today is a wonderful opportunity for me to share with you the rich heritage of St Columbanus, to inform and may be also, to try to, once again, convince you that there is a way out of some of the challenges we have with our young ones today”, Rev.Fr. Umoren said, adding that “We celebrate today what we call SODES 2024”.

While shedding light on the school’s uniqueness as well as the teachers’ roles in honing the students, the Principal continued “SODES is an acronym for SCOSSI Open Day for Emerging Stars. In st. Columbanus, we believe that people are not born stars. People are made stars; people make themselves, stars. And, the greatest group of makers of the stars are the group we call teachers. And that happens in a school but not in every school. It happens in schools that are worthy of the name and I can tell you very convincingly that St. Columbanus is worthy of that name: a school…”

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“…in putting together SODES 2024, and of course it is good to mention that SODES is an initiative of our school. This is the second year. We had the first time last year. It is an opportunity for us to bring together very young minds, pupils from Nursery Schools who are intending tomorrow to go to Secondary Schools, to bring them together and challenge them.

The main thing is just to make them know that life is not just about coming out. Life is about standing out. So, if you come out and you don’t stand out in today’s world, you’re just one of them. But everybody has the potential to come out and stand out. But the group I told you about, worthy of the name, teachers; that is the group that would not only help you to come out, but stand out. And again, St. Columbanus offers that to the full”, Rev.Fr. assured.

He noted that SCOSSI is not a private school, but a mission school maintaining that students of the school did wash their clothes, cut grasses and so on. The Principal further hinted that while other schools narrow their curriculum, St. Columbus don’t narrow theirs simply because they’re trying to prepare their students for West African Examination Council (WAEC). 

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Rev.Fr. Umoren also revealed during the Media Parley that students of St. Columbanus Secondary School were prepared for life and not examinations. He pointed out that his school was in the lead on discipline and morals but added however that for a child to be in the school, he or she must pass certain entrance examinations..

Noting that teachers and instructors in the school were qualified in paper and character, the Principal further used the opportunity to announce that there are various categories of scholarship awards put in place by the school for brilliant but indigent and deserving students. He announced that entrance processes were ongoing.

While urging parents and guardians to make St Columbanus Secondary School first choices for their children in order to guarantee better future for them, the Principal called on government and public spirited individuals to assist the school as according to him, what the St Columbanus offers is not just a school, but service to humanity.