Friday 28th July, 2017
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Why colleges with A-level programmes are best bet for students - Christiana Ebiai

Why colleges with A-level programmes are best bet for students - Christiana Ebiai

Mrs Christiana Ebiai is the Principal of Regent College, Abuja. Before now, the highly-respected educationist has served as principal in five different private schools. In this interview with FELIX KHANOBA, she speaks on the need for parents to expose young children to colleges that run internationally accredited Advanced- level (A-level) examination programmes before sending them to foreign universities, among other issues.

On the qualifications and experience that landed her the posi­tion of principal in the high-flying Regent College, Mrs Ebiai, who is currently under­going a PhD programme, said her sojourn in the field of ed­ucation which began 40 years ago, and the stints as princi­pal in other schools played a major role.

“I entered into the field of education 40 years ago fresh from Lagos Anglican Girls’ Grammar School. I taught Lit­erature and Integrated Science for one year as one of the pi­oneer teachers of a grammar school in (Old Bendel State) Edo State, I later went to Uni­versity of Ife to acquire a Bach­elor’s degree, then to Universi­ty of Lagos for a Post Graduate Diploma in Education and a Master of Education in Com­parative Education, I am pres­ently studying for a PhD in Comparative Education which I should achieve in the next one year to cap it all.

I have been a principal for 18 years in five different pri­vate secondary schools and a private primary school in Ni­geria,” she said.

Asked on the quality of ed­ucation that holds sway in Regent College, she said as a unique curriculum based sixth form college, it provides high-class education and part­ners with some foreign institu­tions on its programmes.

“It is a world class sixth form college that is accredited by the Cambridge International Examinations for the conduct of Advanced Subsidiary and advanced level examinations. We are in partnership and af­filiation with the top 5 per cent of world universities for feeder University Foundation Admissions (UFP) in many sought-after fields of practice. Our college is also an accred­ited Universities and Colleg­es Admissions Service centre (UCAS).”

According to the education­ist, there is need for parents to first embrace sixth form col­leges for their young children before thinking of sending them abroad for degree pro­gramme.

“The minimum age of ad­mission to study a degree pro­gramme in the university is at least 17 years by the third week of September in the year of ad­mission. Hardly do you find a year 11 or SS3 student that is 17. Their average age range is 14-16. You will agree with me that it is a big gamble to release a young child into the world to depend on his own devices be­cause if a child is sent abroad too early, distraction and peer influence can lead to the de-railing of such a child.

Many parents make the wise choice of having their children attend a sixth form college in Nigeria so they can play a su­pervisory role in these crucial 1 or 2 years leading to univer­sity entry.

Another advantage for par­ents is that the fees you are re­quired to pay in Nigeria would be on the average, about 10 per cent of the fees you would have had to pay for the very same quality of education outside the shores of Nigeria and the money you will save in these 1-2 years can be ploughed back to extend the child’s stay to the master’s level,” she said.

On the school curriculum, Mrs Ebiai said Regent College curriculum stands it out from other sixth form colleges.

“Our curriculum is con­structed to groom leaders that will bring about positive change tomorrow. Our stu­dents will imbibe an experi­ential leadership oriented cur­riculum that is geared to build a mind-set of change and the willingness to affect the fu­ture of Nigeria positively. They would know their country and its neighbours and place them in a comparative perspective with the countries they aim to proceed to for studies, to ex­tract workable African solu­tions for Nigeria. Our college is designed to be an academ­ic think-tank for the youth where academics will be pur­sued at a vertex point but the ideals required for achieve­ment and change will not be left un-touched,” she said.

She also bared her mind on the quality assurance mea­sures in the College to always ensure best form of education.

“We have put together a carefully selected faculty with the right disposition and pas­sion for student achievement who are also skilled in the ap­plication of modern educa­tional technology application. Our faculty are very experi­enced and acknowledged top achievers in their individual subject areas. They will chal­lenge the students and broad­en their intuitive and cogni­tive development skills as they bring their individual exciting approaches to the administra­tion and delivery of their sub­ject matter.

In addition to this, our UK partners will compulsorily visit our college for teacher training at least twice a year, the curriculum is the same as the one our partner insti­tutions deliver, the exams are the same, and a marks scheme is provided for uniformity and standardisation between our college and that of our part­ners. Furthermore, our teach­ers will visit the UK school now and then for immersion and on-the- job observation and training.”