The successful and elated students honourably received their certificates at a prize giving and graduation ceremony held on Friday at the school grounds in Kanifing.
Speaking at the ceremony, the principal of Ndow’s Comprehensive Senior Secondary School, Mr Johnson, said Ndow’s Comprehensive is a dynamic school, which is moving “in the right direction and providing opportunities” for students to prepare them for future challenges in higher education and subsequently as useful citizens of The Gambia and the world at large.
“This academic year has witnessed excellent performances in different kinds of competition; the most recent one is the ongoing Banjul Bi-centenary programme where our school participated in quiz, poetry and essay competitions. We took first position in poetry and second in quiz,” Mr Johnson said.
The principal shifted his attention to the graduating students, saying that excellence is not a skill, it is an attitude. “No man ever reached to excellence in any act or profession without having passed through the slow and painful process of study and preparation,” he said.
He told the students: “Today marks the end of another academic level in your lives: attainment of ordinary level is a foundation to higher academic pursuit in life, graduation is a bridge that leads to the outside world. The world is waiting to offer you silver and gold or deception, corruption and bribery; life pedestals are stiff, slippery and highly unpredictable. Whatever comes your way in life, be bold to stand firm and deal with it, don’t ever give up cheaply; champions are crowned for challenges they win and not the ones they elude; choose to live when faced with the threats of death; choose to create when the norm is to destroy; whatever the price, determine to make distinction.”
Mr Johnson challenged the students to reflect on all the good they have learnt from the school and make use of them to get to the pinnacle of success in life, set achievable goals for themselves and run with their vision, stand for the truth at all times, avoid repeating their mistakes of the past, and develop to be honest and committed nation builders of their country, education and the world.
In his remarks, Olugbenga Ojinni, the guest speaker of the occasion, said students are the focus of present-day education system.
“The interest is shifted from subject matter to the student and the teaching or learning process is largely directed by the nature and needs of learners,” he said.
He also said the shift in emphasis from teacher to pupils in the process of education and carrying out of instructional activities with the realization of specific and clear-cut goal of the learning outcomes has inevitably led to a reassessment of teachers’ role in the classroom.
“The model of teachers as the pivotal and dominant figure in education, presenting a variety of information to pupils has practically disappeared,” Mr Ojinni said.
He added that modern education has transformed the teacher’s role from a dictator to friend of students to prepare students for learning by enabling them to actively participate in teaching or learning process rather than simply “spoon-feeding” them.