Principal’s Address to the Graduating Class of 2019 / 2020

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23 September 2020

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Principal’s Address to the Graduating Class of 2019 / 2020

Principal’s Address to the Graduating Class of 2019 / 2020

The Proprietor – Chief Dr JBO Adewumi

Chief Mrs Adewumi

Engr. Tobi Adewumi

Parents, Teachers and staff of TAICO

The Graduants of 2020

I am delighted to finally be able to welcome you all to this Graduation Ceremony which has been a long time in the making this year. I know that there were times when we all thought it might never happen but I am both pleased and relieved that we have got here in the end.

This has been a tumultuous year for the entire planet with COVID-19 being responsible for changing our very way of life probably forever. The way we do business, travel, greet our families and friends has been irrevocably changed and what were normal patterns of behaviour have been swept away by the new ‘Norm’.

For this group of young people sitting to my right today marks the end of perhaps the most important phase of their lives so far and ushers in the start of the next one for them to tackle. 

I have not had the chance to get to know them all as well as I would have liked and yet I will take with me from today fond memories of each and every one of them. I am sure they also have cherished memories of events at the College, friendships that they have built over the years and even of particular members of staff who have impacted positively on their lives. I am sure they will look back on their experiences in years to come and reflect on just how lucky they were to have been given the opportunity to attend a school like this one. The end of Secondary school really marks the start of adulthood for many young people and with that comes new responsibilities and new pressures. In a very short time each one of these students will take on a new role as they begin the journey towards a career and employment.

To quote from Shakespeare’s comedy “AS You Like It”

“All the World’s a stage

  And all the men and women merely players

They have their exits and their entrances

And one man in his time plays many parts”

I believe that they are ready for their new parts, they are confident speakers, well-adjusted socially and able to recognize opportunities that are put in front of them In short they are ready to face the ‘REAL WORLD’

You may wonder why I made the inverted commas gesture as I said the “real World’ and I will attempt to explain the reason. You see, TAICO is a unique place in many ways and it is this uniqueness that has molded you and forged you into the tempered characters you have become. But TAICO is not a realistic place when compared to with the reality that is waiting outside of these gates.

When you start University, a Foundation course of you’re A levels you will quickly learn that there is NOT going to be a Principal to nag you about being on time or your appearance or lack of effort on a daily basis. It is unlikely there will be teachers standing over you to re-align you when you go off course with your studies. At least not in the same way that you are used to.

You will still be expected to attend your lectures on time, with the right equipment and ready to work hard, much of your studying will be unsupervised and take place online or in a library. There will be very little in the way of spoon-fed teaching with notes or Powerpoint displays.

The discipline that has been forced on you here will now have to come from within yourselves, there won’t be teachers propping you up and Mum and Dad are not going to be able to support you in the same way as they have either. Now it is up to you!

Added to the pressure of having to be self-motivated academically is the presence of so many distractions around you, more personal freedom brings greater personal responsibility. Access to shops, fast food restaurants and other attractions or distractions can all be reasons to pull you away from your primary purpose for being in Higher Education – studying.

I believe that you have developed the will power and self-discipline at TAICO to adjust and successfully cope with these issues just as those that have graduated from here have done before you. Having said that you guys are going to have to face up to a certain amount of reality and freedom that you may not exactly appreciate the way you might now think.

Bill Gates gave a speech to some High School students on their graduation about 11 things that most students do not understand when they are leaving school.

  1. Life is NOT fair – get used to it!
  2. The World doesn’t care about your self-esteem…The World expects you to actually accomplish something before you feel great about yourself!
  3. You will not make $100,000 a year in your first job out of High School. You don’t get to be Vice President of the Company with a flashy company car until you have earned them.
  4. If you think your Principal was tough, wait until you get a Boss!
  5. Having a Holiday Job is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different name for a holiday job; they called it opportunity.
  6. If you mess up, it is not your parents fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
  7. Before you were born, your parents were not as boring as you think they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you think you are. So before you go off to the save World from the parasites of your parent’s generation try cleaning out your bedroom cupboard.
  8. Although some schools have done away with competition and academic failure by allowing endless re-tales, real life has not. Failing is very common NOT a rarity.
  9. Life is NOT divided up into semesters (terms). You don’t get the Summer off and very employers give more than 21 working days holiday per year.
  10. Television is not real life. IN real life people actually have to leave the Coffee shops to go to work.
  11. Be nice to nerds. Chances are you may end up working for one!

I think these points are all as valid to you, the Class of 2020, as they were to those students who first heard them from Mr Gates – and let’s face it he speaks from a very successful and enlightened position.

The road has been fairly long and at times quite hard, you have had your successes and probably your fair share of failures as well. That you made it this far indicates that you learnt from your mistakes when you needed to. I am very pleased that each and every one of you passed your JAMB tests, I am also delighted that you have a 100% pass rate for Cambridge O levels with 94% of them being Grades A* to C. I am expecting your WAEC results to be equally impressive despite the extraordinary length of time you had to wait for the actual papers to be done.

So, well done and congratulations. I hope you will keep in touch with each other and with us here at TAICO and let us know how you are getting on in the ‘Real World’. Let me give you three quotations on the subject of opportunity: 

“We are continually faced with a series of opportunities brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems”

John W Gardner (US Administrator)

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work”

Thomas Edison

“The Chinese have two brush strokes to write the word for ‘Crisis’. One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. IN a crisis, be aware of the danger- but recognize the opportunity”

John F. Kennedy

There will be plenty of opportunities to come for you all, don’t miss them or waste them as they may not come around again. “Carpe Dium” – Seize the day!

I would now like to call on Mr Ayeni, the Vice Chairman of the PTA, to speak on behalf of the PTA Executive members.

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