INTERVIEW: How Sascon International School Abuja is transforming education, building future leaders – Executive Director

Sascon International School, Maitama

Less than two years after it started admitting students, Sascon International School in Maitama, Abuja, has created a niche for itself. Stella Onwuegbu, its Executive Director, speaks on the plan of the school, its achievement and its successes.

Q: How would you describe yourself?

Stella: My name is Mrs. Stella Anayo Onwuegbu and, by God’s grace, I am the Executive Director of Sascon International School, Maitama, Abuja.

I have a BSc. in English and Law from the University of Jos. I have always been interested in education and for that reason I am very happy and proud to have completed a post-graduate diploma course in education last year.

Dedicated, outgoing and a team player, I believe in giving people around me equal opportunities to succeed. I like sharing ideas, too.

Furthermore, I enjoy meeting people and finding ways to help them have uplifting experiences.

I am happily married to Engineer Anayo Onwuegbu, who is the Chairman of Sascon International School, Maitama, and our marriage is blessed with five loving and adorable children.

Q: Tell us about your school, the address, the type of school, etc.

Stella: Sascon International School, Maitama, Abuja is a co-educational, full boarding school. The school’s address is: 19A Yedseram Street (Farmers’ Market Road off IBB Way), Maitama, Abuja. The school prepares students for the WASSCE, SSCE, BECE and Cambridge IGCSE examinations. The School opened its gates to JSS1, JSS2 and SS1 students in September, 2016. In September, 2017, it will take students into JSS1, JSS2, SS1 and SS2.

Q: When was your school established and why? What is your mission and vision?

Stella: Our vision is to provide a career-orientated educational programme that encourages our students to be independently analytical and evaluative while being able to work as part of a team. In this way, we will enable them to face opportunities and challenges in life and make choices based on fear of God, a strong sense of discipline and high moral values. It is our mission to prepare students to be a part of and contribute to an ever-changing world. We will engage them effectively, mold their character and build up their self-esteem and integrity. Through our varied curricula, we will help them to develop their individual talents and become actively involved in the learning process and in their own education.

The school was established in 2016 to provide the very best quality education for students in a safe, secure and tranquil learning environment right in the heart of Maitama, Abuja.

Q: What makes your school different from other schools and why is your school the most preferred?

Stella: The School has the most modern state-of the-art facilities, including spacious air-conditioned classrooms complete with interactive boards as well as the usual whiteboards. These interactive boards provide for stimulating lessons, thus encouraging students to want to learn more. The laboratories are extremely well –equipped, including a large, ultra-modern ICT laboratory and e-library. The sports facilities are world-class and the hostels welcoming, furnished with quality furniture and rugs to create a comfortable, homely atmosphere. We are committed to the all-round development of our students, preparing them for success in life.

Q: How do you view the Nigerian education system?

Stella: I rate the Nigerian education system very highly. The Federal Ministry of Education, working through its dedicated and committed teams of professionals, has made great strides in recent years to maintain high educational standards in this country. Our WASSCE and SSCE results are internationally accepted as entry qualifications into tertiary institutions world-wide. I do believe, however, that our young people stand to gain a lot in today’s global village from exposure to other systems as well as the Nigerian system.

Q: How do you intend to contribute to the wholesomeness of your students educationally and morally?

Stella: The decision to make Sascon International School, Maitama a full boarding school was not taken lightly. We believe that in the modern world with all its technological advances, like mobile phones, social networking and so on, there are many distractions that prevent the present generation of young people from focusing on their education and their future. We seek, by being a full boarding school, to remove those distractions. In addition to normal lessons, our students have prep twice a day, seven days a week. During evening preps, there are remedial classes/clinics in Mathematics, English and Handwriting for those who require them. They also have daily prayers, beginning the day with early morning prayer and concluding with prayers before bedtime.

Children are encouraged to worship in their own way, according to the rites and traditions of their religion. We believe that godliness, discipline and high moral values go together.

Q: What is your greatest philosophy regarding education?

Stella: It is my firm belief that the basis of all sound education is, to paraphrase the words of Margaret Mead, the world-renowned sociologist and educator, “that we should teach our children HOW to think, not WHAT to think.”

Q: Any future plans for your school?

Stella: Why, of course! There must always be future plans for any institution. It is our plan to be recognized within a very short time as the best school in Abuja and, ultimately, in the whole of Nigeria.

Q: What is your general advice to parents and children?

Stella: My advice would be to work together in making choices, weighing up all the options and choosing the right school and field of specialisation from an informed perspective. Always keep career opportunities in mind and focus on achieving success and the confidence and self-esteem that goes with it. Fear God and love and respect one another.

Telephone: Adesuwa on 09031356838

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