The Chairman, Governing Council of Tai Solarin College of Education Omu-Ijebu, Prince Adeyemi Adefulu, was a keynote speaker at the 40th Founder’s Day Anniversary of St. John’s Anglican High School, Abeokuta.
Prince Adeyemi Adefulu is not an old student of the school but his wife, Mrs Ololade Adefulu was the pioneer principal of the institution. Prince Adeyemi said the honour of the event was not his, but his wife’s, having been through thick and thin to build the school now being celebrated.
He reminisced on the commitment his wife showed in her service to the school, especially in the period when he was incarcerated for 18 months when the military removed his principal, Chief Olabisi Onabanjo from office following a coup. His wife hard to travel from Ilisan to Abeokuta every one day of that period, yet refusing to be transferred to Abeokuta. Her refusal was because of her commitment to her students. Prince Adefulu said no day passes without him remembering Chief Olabisi Onabanjo, a man whose commitment remains unprecedented and unmatched.
Narrowing down to the Alumni Association, Prince Adeyemi said that the schools that make it today are the ones that have active alumni associations. The alumni association must have projects at all times. He explained to St John’s Alumni that this is the legacy they will leave. For instance, they could insist on crucial programmes e.g the inter-house sports and do it in spite of government refusal. He urged them to courage themselves and use their skills and resources to improve the school.
Prince Adefulu said the Alumni is the resource base of the school and must interact with the school and intervene as the need arises. He noted that governments would say everything is free yet when offered a borehole, they would gleefully accept. He said things do not happen by chance but happen when they are diligently pursued and are made to happen. He told St John’s Alumni that the school is theirs and can become what they wish for it to become.
Prince Adefulu’s text listed the benefits of Alumni Associations as
- They are a source of inspiration for the students
- In the face of the dwindling financial support, the association is a potential source of financial support
- They pool resources to build new facilities while maintaining existing ones
- Their numbers increase every year and so the potentials
- They are always there, being the past, the present and the future of the school
- They are a strong lobby arm
- They pursue institutional goals better
Prince Adefulu identified the following as possible ways of deploying alumni associations
- Policy Drive: This underscores the importance of formulating and driving the right policies
- Volunteering: Gifted and we’ll positioned individuals in the associations could volunteer time and skill to assist their institutions
- Scholarships, Grants and Endowments: These could be provided or pursued from other sources and would go a long to assist students and the institution
- Smentoring, Internship and Employment: These being potential areas of involvement of alumni associations for positive outcomes.
- Regular Interventions remain the most effective approach, closing the gap and responding as needs arise.
In rounding off, the chairman advised schools to build high-performance alumni associations that go beyond stereotype social celebrations and focus more on development of professionalism, intellectualism, capacity-building and personal development
The event held in the main auditorium of St John’s Anglican High School Abeokuta on Saturday December 12, 2020