An Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the American University of Nigeria, Dr Lukman AbdurRaheem has described Vanguards Academy as a rock and its hardworking graduating students as roses.
Speaking at the 13th graduation ceremony of the school held yesterday, Saturday, at the school premises in Odonsengolu, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, Dr AbdurRaheem said people would not ordinarily expect roses to grow on rocks, because rocks by their nature are very hard and lack the water and nutrients required for growth.
He however added that roses learn through adaptation to grow on rocks.
According to him, the rock in the context of his lecture is Vanguards Academy, while the roses represent its hardworking students.
No fewer than sixty two (62) students graduated from the school, making the total number of her graduates 702 since inception in 2007, when it graduated its first set of 13 students.
The guest speaker said, “Growing roses on rocks therefore requires hardwork and consistent sacrifices of money, time, and efforts, as well as regular follow-up. This is in line with the Tradition of Allah (Fitrah), which rewards success in life based on handwork and sacrifice as established by Allah in Qur’an 29: 69, “As for those who strive hard for Us, We will surely guide them to Our paths. And verily, Allah is with the doers of good.'”
Dr Lukman, who is also the Amir of The Muslim Congress (TMC), commended the school management for choosing the topic, “Roses from the Rock” at this point in time when the country is suffering from the consequences of poor nurturing and grooming of children, some of whom have grown to become insurgents, militants, cultists, kidnappers, armed robbers, conflict agents and corrupt public officers.
He revealed that the army of ignorant folks, poorly-parented Al-Majiri and out-of-school children later turned out to become the recruitment sources for Boko Haram, Shiites and other violent groups.
“Few weeks ago, a large number of Shiite protesters and miscreants stormed Abuja on violent protests, leading to loss of lives and destruction of public property. The aftermath of that incident is well known to us. We are fast losing the society to criminals and people with perverted upbringing,” he added.
Quoting sources from UNICEF, Dr Lukman said Nigeria has about 10.5 million children who are not in school, even though primary education is officially free and compulsory.
“In north-eastern Nigeria, 2.8 million children are in need of education-in-emergencies support in three conflict-affected States (Borno, Yobe, Adamawa). In these states, at least 802 schools remain closed and 497 classrooms are listed as destroyed, with another 1,392 damaged but repairable.
“In north-eastern and north-western states, 29 percent and 35 percent of Muslim children respectively receive Qur’anic education, which does not include basic skills such as literacy and numeracy.
“The government considers children attending such schools to be officially out-of-school. Obviously, a country with this type of demographics is not growing the roses on the rock, but breeding monsters waiting to unleash their anger on the rest of the society.
He noted that the task of raising the students to become great personalities in the society can only be made possible through planned and collaborative actions from teachers, parents and all stakeholders.
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