Premiere Academy Abuja; Changing the Narratives in the Nigerian Education System
Compiled by Kingsley Umoh and Adaeze Onuorah
Nigeria, a country located in the West Coast region of Africa, with an estimated 200 million population, the world’s most populous black nation on earth, a country blessed with abundant natural resources.
Nigeria is tagged as the giant of Africa, a superpower in the area of politics, economy, and sports, especially football, where the country’s performance and achievements in the past had left the world with the cacophony of voices, saying great things about a nation full of talent.
However, over the past decades, Nigeria education system has failed to live up to expectations, the sector has been bedeviled with several challenges, like, lack of basic facilities, un-qualified and un-trained teachers, poor teaching technique, poor learning environment, the list is endless. These challenges had forced Nigerian citizens to embark on education tourism, to other countries where they hope to find succor and fulfill their education ambition.
In the height of all these challenges, Premiere Academy, a secondary school situated in the nation’s capital, Abuja, is already striving to correct these anomalies in our education system, it has also shown, with the school’s recent performance and achievements in the 2020 West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), which sent tongues wagging, is an indicator that Premiere Academy, has the huge appetite for the big prize.
EDU CARE NEWS, in an exclusive, insightful, and energy-sapping interview session with the Head of Academy, Mr. Chris Akinsowon, who bears his mind on various issues as it concerns Premiere Academy.
The Enthusiastic Educationist spoke glowingly on how it all started with Premiere Academy, the foundation and experiences.
“Premiere Academy has been in existence for 15 years, we started with 4 pupils, we have been participating in the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), for 10 years now, which is being conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC). Our growth in academics has been a strategic one, having started with 4 students in the year 2005, we knew where we were headed which is to grow the school to International Standard.
The school carefully and deliberately established a strategic relationship with schools they think and know have to an extent, achieved what they were aiming for which is perfection or near perfection in every unit and department of the school.
We set a benchmark for our growth and development, we try to do things differently in other to achieve or surpass our set goals. This strategy we applied to every area of the school’s growth, from the area of academics to facilities, etc.
The articulated educationist, expunge completely, indiscipline in Premiere Academy
“Premiere Academy has zero-tolerance for indiscipline, as every form or act of indiscipline is immediately sanctioned. We have zero-tolerance for bullying and one can measure discipline from the way the students interact with each other and handle their colleagues and friends.
Our major focus is on being and operating by example, acting as role models to these students. For Premiere Academy, they as mentors should act and behave in ways that they want their mentees to act and behave, because we believe that leadership is by example.”
The astute school administrator, extol the virtues of Premiere Academy, in the standard of teachers employed, and the training and re-training of their teachers in other to put them on the same pedestal with global best practice.
“The quality of results and academic achievements we have so far is a testament to the quality of teachers we have. One cannot give what they don’t have, the quality and excellence we have attained is the function of excellent and quality teachers we have. Because we are so concerned about the quality of teachers and the need to have the best in the industry, we adopted the poaching strategy, where we seek the best in the industry and strive to hire them.
We deliberately employed two experts to train our local teachers up to International standards, considering that our main objective is to bring the school to the international level and compete favorably with our counterparts globally.”
On what the parents are saying about Premiere Academy, and what they have done to show appreciation, the enigmatic Chris Akinsowon, has this to say.
Initially, we never planned on having a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) body, but the parent demanded a PTA body which will enable them to impact directly into the school. Parents also appreciate the teachers when needed, to encourage them to do more, the PTA body provided buses for the school and also supports the school whenever there is an event.
For instance, during the lockdown, we were the first school to implement virtual learning and engaging our students. Parents are our ambassadors, they are the first-ever marketers to market for us, and this is an added advantage.
The indefectible educationist also praised the students of Premiere Academy for their unique character.
A Premiere Academy, students will never pass by an elder without greeting them, that discipline has been instilled in them, and that is what they are known for.”
Where will Premiere Academy be in the next 5 years? Chris, with an aura of excitement, said.
“In the next 5 years, we would have clocked 20 years, when we started, we used schools ahead of us as our benchmark, but currently, we don’t look up to them anymore, because now our goal is to build up to International standard, and we have already started working on it.
In the next 5 years, Premiere Academy will be ranked high, not just by Nigeria standard, but also, by international standards, we are determined to ensure our students perform highly in important spheres of life.”
All through the 15 years of existence of Premiere Academy, has there been a decline in the quality of results by their students? Or has it been growth all the way?
“We have always recorded success in the quality of our results, for instance, in 2007 WAEC result, we had eight A1’s, while in 2020, we have 9 A1’s, which for me is massive progress.
Mr. Chris, also explained that the criteria to benefit from the NNPC/SNEPCO scholarship, which some of its students are currently enjoying, is based on schools that have academic excellence, coupled with good facilities and structures that are up to standards while emphasizing all these comes with merit.
Is Premiere Academy affordable for an average Nigerian? The education tycoon posited.
“Premiere Academy is not the most expensive school, we have policies that help parents pay our tuition fees comfortably. The fee per annum is about 2 million, which is spread across 3 terms installments, it is not compulsory it is paid all in one swoop.
If a parent pays about 70 percent of the termly fees, the school will allow the child, that way it is affordable.”
As the decline in the education sector continues to fester, Mr. Chris urges the government to improve on education policies in Nigeria; he informed that in Nigeria, there is a large number of out of school children, citing that the government has a lot to do when it comes to education.
Mr. Chris, also noted that the surge recorded in the private education sector is as a result of the wide gap left by the Nigerian government while calling for an increase in the percentage of budget allocated to education in Nigeria, as well as restructuring and revisiting educational policies.
He also spare a thought on the current state of University education in Nigeria, and the lingering ASUU strike, which has lasted for 8 months.
“How many governments would tolerate such decadence in the education industry, the federal government needs to put more priority on education in Nigeria.”
With the excellent result of 17 years old, miss Sylvia Ulan Andrew, a student of premiere Academy, scored a parallel 9A’s in the 2020 WASSCE.
Premiere Academy, founded on November 11, 2005, is fully poised to re-position Nigeria’s secondary education on the global map, and wake the sleeping giant in Nigeria as it concerns education.
Nigerian’s at home, and in the Diaspora, the global community, are watching and waiting to see, the great success story to come, from this school, that is fast becoming an ivory tower in the country’s education system.
Kindly visit www.premiereacademyng.org for more interesting facts about Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja.