I nicknamed her Koseleri of District 9110. And that’s for a special reason – in the history of Rotary International, District 9110 Nigeria, and in 40 years, she’s the first woman ever to become a District Governor Nominee-Designate, District Governor-Nominee, District Governor-Elect and ultimately District Governor. Koseleri, by the way, is a Yoruba word for what has never happened before. An unprecedented feat and accomplishment.
Mrs. Omotunde Lawson, besides her humongous feat in Rotary, is also a renowned educator and school owner. As a matter of fact, her school – Christhills – is one of the best and biggest in the Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos.
YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, AZUH ARINZE, took the industrious and illustrious mother of three up on Tuesday, October 19, 2021.
They examined her love for Rotary, her emergence as the first female DG, what it takes to run a successful co-educational establishment and more. Enjoy…
How does it feel to be the first woman in your District and also in 40 years to be elected as a District Governor Nominee-Designate, District Governor-Nominee, District Governor-Elect and hopefully District Governor in 2022?
Thank you, Rotarian Azuh. It is not a mere feat. But it’s a cumulative result of consistent hard work of service to Rotary. Over the years, and since I joined Rotary in 2007, I’ve played my part, served consistently and diligently at my club level and when I was invited to the District level to chair committees, to be member of committees, to be secretary of committees and also to be adviser to some committees, I saw it as a call to service. And you know, when you have interest in something… I didn’t just stroll into Rotary. I saw what Rotary had been doing before I joined. I was impressed. I wanted to be part of these people who are doing marvellous things in their communities. You know you can have money and not know where to pilot the money or where to send the money to work. But when you see a good cause and you feel that you have a little extra, that you wish to give out to people, beyond doing that within the church, our communities, people who are less privileged, Rotary should be it. I had attended a lot of Rotary programmes before I joined, and I saw what they were doing and I felt, oh, I should be part of this group that is so progressive and have service-oriented minds. So, I began the journey. I served at my club level and of course, to the glory of God, I made my mark. I was the best club president in my year. My club which hitherto was kind of moribund ended up becoming the second best club in the District; the club won different awards, including the Lagos State Social Responsibility Service Award, to mention but a few. Well, I joined the District. Like I said, first of all, as a member of a committee. I was given assignments as committee chair, for three consecutive years and in other capacities. And I think I delivered. So, when it was time for this nomination, I just felt, well, let me give it a trial. It is not a do or die affair. But if God says that I still have something more to offer Rotary, then let me just try and apply to be District Governor for 2022-2023. And having gone through the usual pre-requisite and attended the interview which was conducted by a panel of diligent, purposeful, forward-looking and integrous District Governors, I became successful. I won that nomination as the best-suited candidate for the post of District Governor. It was like a miracle, because, like I said, my prayers were never ‘I should be’. My prayers had been, ‘God, if you know you have something for me to do, then let the interview come out in my favour’. And I think God actually has a purpose for me to become the District Governor and that was why I was successful. So, I feel excited that out of so many that had tried over the years; those who had done the interview three or four times; that I could do it only once and I was able to make it. To God be all the glory!
So, what has changed about you since you assumed this new designation or status?
Yeah! What I could say that probably changed is the way I look at Rotarians now – because these are volunteers. Those who are pre-occupied by things of their own. Their own personal commitments – their jobs, their families and yet they have come out to serve. So, they must be accorded due respect if you want to get them to work with you. I am not going to tell anybody to work for me; you are not working for me at all! You are gonna work with me and I want to treat them with the respect that Rotarians deserve, having to offer part of their very, very valuable time to serve humanity and I see it as a lot of work. I can say that since the nomination, all of my effort had been put into it.
There’s a mission that must be accomplished and I must start thinking of those that will be able to assist to make the mission and the vision to be accomplished. So, what has changed is that I work harder, I see more people inviting me to so many things, to come and give this talk, this presentation at their Club Assembly, to come and train them on something, train them on this and that. It has become more taxing, but I can assure you that I have given all my time and I have responded to as many invites from clubs, because if they don’t need me, they will not invite me. So, I’ve tried to rise up to the expectations of these different clubs. So, I think for now I’m getting prepared. And I’m working harder.
What is going to be your major focus in 2022- 2023 when you eventually assume office as District Governor, Rotary International, District 9110 Nigeria?
You know Rotary International has peculiar areas of focus. There are three things that matter most to Rotary International. You have to increase membership, you grow Rotary Foundation… To be a successful Governor, you must grow membership. You must have to retain, not even growing alone. Retention of our members that had been grown or that I will meet on ground, it’s my desire to retain them and also to add more. The current District Governor (Remi Bello) is working hard to ensure that more members are attracted and we are seeing the results of his work on that. So, I must ensure that whatever he leaves for me, at the end of this Rotary year, I’m gonna start with that and I must improve on them. That’s on membership. Then, on Rotary Foundation, which is the second area that Rotary International is gonna rate you, evaluate your performance on, I will also increase that. And the reason I can confidently come out and appeal to people to come and support Foundation is because myself, I’ve supported and I’m still supporting Rotary Foundation in terms of programme participation and funding.
This year alone, I’ve done my $2000 Rotary Foundation. It’s an annual thing. You cannot mentor people or expect them to do something when you are not in the forefront to show or to lead by example. Now, that’s about Foundation. I want to encourage more, more, more, more contributions to the Foundation and grow the foundation base to quite an impressive sum, increase our endowment contribution, look for more Arch Klump Society members. We got one this year, but I’m sure we can still work harder to get another one, which I’m actually pursuing. And in terms of projects – yes! All through the years, and in 41 years of District 9110, year in, year out, clubs have accomplished very big and impactful projects in partnership with the District, and with our Rotary Foundation sometimes. Now, the focus is this – usually, some of these projects are accomplished through District Grants and Global Grants. And one area that I want to ensure that this is more magnified is (1) I want to see how almost all our clubs can tap into District Grants. This grant is the cheapest and easiest grant that any club can assess. But I think the reason clubs don’t key into it as much is because of lack of knowledge on how to go about it. I will give my presidents-elect a lot of education going forward. Even before then, a lot of education will be given on what and what to do for them to win their own Rotary Citation and to also improve the image of our District. Clubs are going to be distributed into clusters. I will call them club clusters, with a very big and well accomplished club as the leader of the group, so that they can bring up some other clubs that are weaker in strength. We don’t want all the big clubs alone to be doing all those laudable things and we are only hearing their names.
The weaker ones also need support from the bigger ones. So, these club clusters will afford the weaker clubs to join and partner bigger clubs to deliver impactful projects. So, each club cluster can access Global Grant as an entity and do bigger, bolder projects. And of course, as a female, let me come from that angle; as a female, I want to challenge our females. We must increase female membership. It’s the No. 1 focus. Incidentally, I’ve been nominated to be the National Co-ordinator for Women in Rotary in Nigeria. And what will follow next is to ensure that our District in Nigeria launches their Women in Rotary chapters and what is the essence of this? Many people are feeling that we want to use that to intimidate the men. Please, it’s not true. We can’t even intimidate the men. We are all partners in the service of Rotary. Of course, you know that when women have passion to do something, they must ensure that they make their mark. So, we want to put our foot in the sands of time by ensuring that each month in Rotary is dedicated to a particular project that is going to be powered by the women. We will use that forum to ensure the District accomplishes its goals in different areas.
It’s not just something feminine. No! It’s to ensure that the women support the District to achieve the goals that are set and increase in female membership is key, it’s germane. Even next Rotary year, we want to do a significant project in an area of focus that will remain the reference point for years to come. I want to have a signature project delivered by all the women in the District. Then, another thing – my focus will be to train and retrain Rotarians. Starting from our trainings in February – The District Team Training Seminar, followed by Presidents-Elect Training Seminar, followed by District Training Assembly, followed by District Leadership Seminar and Rotary Leadership Institute. We want our Rotarians to know more, learn more. There are so many areas where Rotarians are lagging behind and they are eager, they are yearning to know more.
The resources are there, our Rotary leaders are there to serve as resource and the content of our training, this time, will even be richer than before. They will address so many questions that Rotarians have been asking. Before we begin the Rotary year, a questionnaire will come out. The questionnaire is to ask Rotarians, what are they looking forward to? Much as we cannot respond to everything, I’m sure we can at least respond to some or many of those issues that Rotarians are eager to know about.
You said something earlier on about women. Having broken the jinx, what will be your advise to other women aspiring to get to the No. 1 position in their fields or organizations?
Generally, I will say that oftentimes, probably, women feel that they do not have the capacity. They believe they don’t have the capacity and they don’t come out to make themselves available to take up challenges. You know, when I was trying to see how to put up the committees and who’s going to lead the committees, I had a little bit of some challenge with the fact that some areas where women should even be on top, be the ones to lead, the female were very few. Because hitherto, they had not been up there to an extent that they can come up to assume such positions. So, it’s not likely to be peculiar to only Rotary. I believe that other organizations too, they have such female that have the capacity, but will not just come out to make themselves available.
Anybody who must excel in anything must first come out to say let me try. It’s not about I cannot, it’s about trying, giving it a trial. Even if you fail, it’s not the end of the world. Before I became the District Governor Nominee-Designate, I told them in my club, I said look, please, I don’t want any expectations that it must be. If it doesn’t come my way, that is just God’s design. Therefore, if I feel like going for it the second time, I will, and if I feel that I don’t want to go again, I will just forget about it. So, it is not about the fact that you must be, but giving it a thought and trying to get it.
Now, what makes a good Rotarian? Who is a good Rotarian?
A good Rotarian must start from being a good person yourself. Someone who has the discipline, someone who has integrity, someone that can be a role model to others, someone that people will see and they will say oh, what this person has done truly shows that he’s indeed a Rotarian, a man, a woman of impeccable character. A person who will stand by his or her words. Somebody who is not partial, somebody who will deal with things with equity, an objective person, somebody who will obey the rule of law.
Those are the characteristics of a good Rotarian. Somebody who is ready to serve, to be a servant-leader, somebody who is ready to give, somebody who is ready to serve the community, no matter how small that person is – you are ready to serve and become the least among your peers. Somebody who is supposed to listen to others, to get their own points of view, somebody who is ready to deliver when given an assignment, somebody who is straight forward… I can go on and on.
For you, what is the sweetest thing about being a Rotarian?
The sweetest thing is when you see the outcome of what you have put into a service project. I recall that when I was the President, we visited Ajeromi/Ifelodun General Hospital in Ajegunle to ask what they needed and it was incubators. You know, when children are born and there’s no place to put them, temporarily, of course, you are going to lose the babies. So, that time, the club was able to give them one incubator. And we were monitoring the outcome of the project. When we went back later, and I saw a baby inside that incubator, something struck me – that if that one had not been provided, this baby probably wouldn’t be alive. Now, when you have built a school, pupils or students who hitherto had been sitting on tyres, had been sitting on the floor, and those are situations that we have found and are still occurring in our schools and then you now get to that school and you find these students sitting on beautiful chairs and they have facilities like projectors, etc, you feel happy. These are kids that people thought would not do well, because they did not have the right facility to use. But here we are, we now gave them those facilities and they are doing well. How will you feel as a Rotarian? When I saw the school built by Rotary Club of Maryland, the day it was commissioned, at Wasimi Village, I was there. Everybody was so happy. In fact, we were shocked about what we saw. A school that was fully equipped with all what the students will need – including a bathroom. I’m sure the teachers don’t need to have their bath in school. But that’s just to show you the level of comfort given to them. So, that’s the joy; to see the outcome of what we put into Rotary.
Is there anything you don’t like about being a Rotarian?
Yes, not everything could be okay. There are areas that definitely one will not like to see really. But in any organization, there is no way, and that is why there’s an avenue for feedback and that is why the leader must have listening ears. Listen to what people are talking about, see how much you can correct. But If I had not found it to be good so far; at least ninety percent good, I would have checked out a long time ago. But to still be there, it means that I derive value from it and I see Rotary as good.
Let’s defocus from Rotary a bit. You started out as a teacher. What makes a good teacher?
A good teacher must be selfless. A good teacher is that teacher that the students would see later and acknowledge. A teacher that the students would see later and appreciate. A teacher that when the old students, the alumni, when they have programmes, they are looking forward to even give you something. That’s a good teacher. If you have not added value to the lives of your students; even if both of you meet in a bus, and that student is sitting down, he will not offer you a seat. He will say good for you, continue standing (laughter). But if you are a good teacher, your student will meet you, you are standing, before you call Jack Robinson, he will say this is my teacher, come and have a seat. I remember the day I fell down at Alaba Market (in Lagos). I went to the market and I fell down. You know one thing, any time I’ve had an issue, and somebody quickly comes forward to say oh, I want to help you, when I look at you, I will ask you; ‘Were you ever my student? Have you crossed my path before?’ And truly and truly, they are usually my old students! When I fell down at Alaba market, I fell down flat. It was my student that carried me up. When I went to this Galleria (Silverbird, on Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos) to watch a movie, I had no place to park. It was a student of mine that came to say, you don’t know me, you were my teacher, I will look for a place for you to park and he looked for a place for me to park. They had an old students’ gathering and I was invited and I was given money. I was given money! Just last week again, another school I had taught had a programme and it continued. Persistently! Calling me to be part of their programmes. At that programme, they were full of praises, because I sowed a seed in them. A seed of success. I had a slogan as a teacher and that slogan, which I tell my students all through the years is, ‘You must pass’. It’s a must! You must be successful. You must, you must, you must… And so, all my energy, I tailored towards my students being successful. First in my subject as a Biology teacher and also a school principal. My teachers even know that. You must see them as your own children and give them all what it takes for them to be successful, not withstanding that they are in public schools.
Now, of all the professions in the world, why did you settle for teaching?
Ah-ha! Very good! Because I had a mentor. My father, my late father was my mentor. My father was an educator par excellence. A man of SACOBA. If you hear SACOBA, it means St. Andrew’s College Old Boys Association. Anybody that attended that school must be a fantastic teacher. He was an alumnus of St. Andrew’s College, Oyo. He was a teacher, supervisor of schools, and later became a permanent board member of Ibadan – Ibarapa Local School Education Board. He served in various capacities. When he was in that capacity as a board member, many people had visited our home wanting to bribe him, either to change their postings, either as teachers or head teachers; they had brought items. I can recall an incident when somebody almost fell down with gallons of palm oil that he brought to our house to give my father and by the time my father chased him, he almost fell down from the staircase, together with his palm oil. He was a man of absolute integrity. All of us copied same thing from him – to do things with integrity and to be objective in our dealings, having seen the path that he took as a teacher and how so many lives had been molded. So many people lived in our house, so many people became successful through him, he trained them in schools, too numerous to mention. So, I felt, oh, I could do the same thing that he’s doing. He wanted me to be a medical doctor, but within me, I said this man does not even know that I don’t want to see all the dirty things they see in the hospital. So, the first thing that I applied for, when I finished my school, was education and at my first attempt, when I wrote my examination, I became successful. So, I didn’t even bother to think of any other profession. I just settled for it and the rest is history.
You rose to become a school principal. What makes a good principal?
Principals are appointed based on performance. There’s a system of appraisal in the school system. They called them Inspectors then. Later, they changed them to Quality Assurance Officers or officers for monitoring and evaluation. It’s a periodic thing. So, as a teacher, they come and see you, watch you do your work. They take their reports back to the Education District Office or Ministry of Education as the case may be and progressively when you become a vice; when I became a vice principal, the same thing occurred because I had my schedule as vice principal. So, there was no time, I can tell you; maybe my colleagues are listening or people that had worked with me, if they are listening, they will know that what I’m saying is just one hundred percent true – there’s never been any time that inspectors had been to my school to watch my performance as a teacher or as a sectional leader that I had a negative feedback. In fact, all what must be put in place must have been put in place in terms of maybe query or whatever that are due to any defaulting officer. They will now face them. Nothing like ask your vice principal, ask this, ask that; they are all in your file. And I document a lot. Let me tell you something – documentation was what always worked for me. So, when issues are going to be discussed, I refer to the documents in the file. I don’t talk with mouth and I’ve always told those that work with me that look, you cannot defend any claim with words of mouth. You can only defend your claims with what is written down, what can be verified. So, that was my tool. I keep records a lot. Too much for comfort. Yes, and so I was able to deliver very well. It was not difficult for them to identify me as somebody who could lead a school and I was finally appointed to become a principal in 1993 December.
You currently run your own school, why did you set up your own school?
Well, setting up the school came up in 1996 when I was still in service and naturally, you are not even expected to be running a system when you are in school. So, I didn’t run it, but my husband… In fact, he actually applied for the process of approval while I was still working. And let me also tell you this – that even when I was in service and the school was running, even the performance evaluation that I had, was better than before the school came up, because I never, I never left my official duties to attend to school duties at the detriment of my official duties. I will attend to my own school affairs after school hours. You can never find me in that school during normal school hours when I should be at my own duty post that government gave me. Never! But I will give advice from the back through my husband, who was implementing until I retired…
So, why exactly did you set up the school? And what stands it out?
I needed to give back to the society. I mean, what I know how to do, and how to do well, when I now left the government, all those I’m now giving these services to, what could have happened to them? I saw myself as somebody who could still give more, beyond the government setting, give more within my community. The school started as a community school, where they were paying very little and the children of everybody within the community, they were coming to that school. Why? I wanted to give back. I saw it as a challenge. My mother-in-law also ran a school in Ibadan and when she was retiring, she called me and said, look, I want to retire from this service at 70. Look at all the facilities that I have, look at all the equipment that I have, I don’t want to sell them, but I think you can make use of them. That was the beginning… the determining factor to start at the time it started. We brought all those items to Lagos, and I decided that these ones must not waste. Let us set up our own school. I now told my husband, this is the time to set up a school, to serve the community, because your mother has encouraged me to start one and therefore we are going to start. And because his mother was involved anyway, he had no option but to join and participate. And of course, to implement. That was how we started.
What stands your school out? What are the unique selling points? Why should I send my kids to your school if I were to be living around your area?
You don’t even have to live around our area; let me start from there. Because as I speak with you, I run an outfit that will deliver tutoring, to students, internationally. Yes, we run and we have students from Canada, USA and UK that are in school. In fact, in another few minutes, they are going to log in and have their studies. The teachers are working online. That’s one of the unique selling points. We run an online school that is almost unbeatable and we have spread our tentacles beyond Nigeria. So, even if you have your families and friends that have children, and I’m not joking now, and they want special attention for them, you can key into christhillnaijatutors. Now, our selling points include training our students not only academically, but also in other areas. Academically, we have delivered one hundred percent integrity-based result; mark my words – integrity-based results – in West African School Certificate Examination and National Examination Council, NECO examination. Integrity-based! The students did their exams unaided and the result had always been one hundred percent. And the students had gained admission into different universities. Some have passed out with first class degrees and this feedback, they even come from parents. Look, we have a website, our website is www.christhillschools.com Whatever you find on that platform is what we offer. Then, we develop the students in entrepreneurial skills. That’s also one area of focus. Our students have a skill we hand over to them and every year, we try to do like an exhibition for them to show what skills they have acquired and what they have made out of them. Our students develop apps. Our IT teacher in school is the one taking them all these application terms. So, it’s a success story.
Our students are our feedbacks. We don’t produce a failure, we don’t produce failures in that school. The school may not have a big name, like I tell people; I don’t want to mention all these big names, but come to think of it, parents withdraw their children from those schools with big names, when they see what’s happening and they bring them to our school. All the success stories is our strength.
To run a successful school, what must one do?
One, get the right tutors. Ensure that the teachers you have are qualified, tested. Before we employ our teachers, they go through a written test in their subject areas, first. Then, secondly, they come for oral interviews and they must also go for what we call micro teaching. If you are good, you are intelligent, if you had scored well in the written test, if your micro teaching is bad, we are not going to employ you. We look at those parameters. Then, No. 3, putting appropriate monitoring strategies in place. As I am here with you, I can see what is happening in my school. I’m always on; the CCTV is running. I play back to see what is happening and I get feedback from students quarterly. There’s a questionnaire. They don’t put their names. I have the questions that will diagnose exactly all what is happening in the school system and I will get the result. It will also monitor periodically, things that would have gone bad before you know what’s happening. I encourage the parents to give their own feedback. They come once in a term for open day. That open day, we have a register where they must register, and we tell them, I don’t want to hear about the success story, please. Fine, they are there. Those areas that you are not satisfied with is what I want to know, because they are for us to improve. So, all these monitoring strategies that we put in place are what is working for us. And of course, those we have employed as the leaders. In my school, I have three stages. I call them Learning Managers.
Our school is so big, and over the years I’ve discovered that having only one head of school has not proved to be productive. That’s part of the evaluation that I do personally. So, I decided, okay, there are three different areas in the school system. I’m going to provide learning managers for each, with terms of reference. And you report to me every month based on your terms of reference. So, I have Learning Manager, Administration, I have Learning Manager, Academics and I have Learning Manager, Special Duties. They have their terms of references. When you report every month, and we have our own meetings, it is from your reports that we see what are the things to improve upon and by the time I’m having another meeting with you next time, you must have put in place certain things and the response must now be different. So, that’s how we have been doing it.
What is the best way as a teacher to get a child who is dull and not brilliant transformed?
Many people feel that it’s not do-able. But it’s actually do-able. When parents bring their children like that, we test them. We evaluate them. When we evaluate them, the first thing we do; I mean, from the evaluation, we can tell you, because based on our own skill and our own syllabus, we can tell the parents, your child is at this level. If the child does not go back to this class, the child cannot move ahead. In education, no child skips a stage. In education, no child skips a stage (repeats it). If you are in year one now, and you are using probably year two scheme, and you now want the child to go to year two; in our school, we are using year three scheme; if a child is coming from a school where year two uses year two scheme, that child cannot now be in our own year two. Because he would have skipped that year two. Because in our year two, we are using year three scheme. So, you must test the child to know where he belongs. Those parents…you know, some parents will try to convince you; but we tell them, write a letter of undertaking that if this child does not meet up, it’s now your own responsibility, because we have advised you that this child cannot cope in this class. But when you have done that, we will now assign a teacher… And in our school, let me tell you, we train the children as they are. Even if they are being given the same lesson at the same time, there are times scheduled for the teacher to take such kids separately. Because, you know what, when they are teaching, as far as you don’t want to draw some back, because learning, teaching must continue, and learning must be progressive. The dull ones will not catch up. In fact, for some to copy the notes, they can’t copy at the rate others are copying. But there’s one thing that we have also done – we undertake Google classroom. Our school runs both in-person and virtual. It’s the normal thing in our school now. It has come to stay. We don’t do only in-person. At that Google classroom, the scheme is there, the teacher’s notes are put on the Google classroom. Even when a child cannot meet up, the child will now go back to the Google classroom, look at the scheme, look at the topic, look at the teacher’s note, look at the assignment, the parents can even sit down in their homes and teach them. Comfort of their homes! So, that is a way too in which you can do extra to assist a child. Beyond being in the classroom when a child cannot follow at that rate. So, extra time is devoted to them. We have teachers who will support them and again, guess what? From parents’ feedback too – all those who are dull, and they abide with our instruction to take them to the level where they belong, they have turned out to be excellent. Only those who insist that they should still go ahead when the background isn’t good are the ones that have issues. They will now come back to say I have seen what you said. Please, can the child now go back? But we have proved our own point to them.
What must every parent look out for in trying to get a good school for their children?
Okay, let me start from what they should not look out for – they should not look out for schools with big names. All those schools with big names; I’m still emphasizing that – it’s not about names, but about what is being delivered, what is being given. First of all, when parents call online, some will call on the phone, they want to ask about the school fees, I tell them, I’m not gonna provide that. Even my leaders in the school, they know that. Don’t provide any information to any parent about the school. Tell them to come and get direct feedback on what’s happening. Go through our programme, go through our records, go on the website, ask questions first to see whether all what we have claimed that we are doing, we are actually doing them. Then, you can now see whether, oh, you are interested, oh, it’s true, these things are being offered, they are truly doing this. That is step one.
You don’t just put your child in a school blindly because the name of the school is big. Then, No. 2, ask for feedback from fellow parents. Many students we have in school, they were introduced by parents. In fact, parents are the best selling point, they are the ones that can publicize your school, they are the ones that can market your school beyond yourself and we have seen those who have brought four families, ten families. When they see what the children have done within a short time, and you know, within like a term, I don’t know what happens. I think God is just in control. Within a term, a new child, you will see a difference in the child. Even those who didn’t start with us. A difference must be seen. Something positive must be seen in that child. So, it’s feedback from parents. Let them get feedback from parents too. Those who have kids in the school. Let them do some homework behind the scene. Not even from us.
So, what’s your dream for your school?
Yeah! Already, we are a Cambridge School. Though we have not presented students yet. We are going to present students next year, the first set and the teachers have been trained. I mean, training is done, payment made for the trainings. So, we have paid for that. And they have been trained, so that they can deliver accurately and effectively for the students that will start the Cambridge examination. Because you know now, many parents want their children to study abroad and if they have the pre-requisite, right from here, by passing their IDCSC, for example, I mean, it’s just a matter of seeking admission abroad. So, we want to have partnership with some universities. We are already working on that so that it’s even easy for the students to transit, having done the examination to such universities. So, we are planning for that. But let me tell you my plan for my school – I am already getting old. Though not too old to work. By the time I’m 70, I believe I should retire and my children are there. My first daughter; all of them were part of the process from the beginning. And I remember when we initially started, they were part of it and one of them, even now, diverted from banking and she has qualifications from University of London, UCL in Education. So, she’s gonna come and take over. I know the young ones, their vision is quite different. They have a very high vision. At times when I share my views with her, she will say that’s why I cannot come and join you now. These your ideas are still too archaic. There’s a way to go about it. So, when you know you want to hands off, call me and I will be ready. And she’s the one that’s actually managing the online school we now have. She’s the one managing it from Canada.
Finally, to have a taste of success in life generally, what must one do?
Hard work and persistence! Hard work. A lazy person can never be successful. When I sweat day and night; let me tell you, endless times, people wonder. Send a text to me at 1:00AM, you will get an answer. Oh yes! Because I am at work every time on different things I have at hand. I work and I must provide solutions to things. If I don’t have solutions, I must go online to seek answers. So, it is hard work and persistence and determination to deliver. If you don’t have determination to deliver to be successful, you can’t be successful. You must have a focus. There must be a vision, there must be a focus and there must be a timeline to achieve something. If they are not put in place, then what are your yardsticks for measuring success? So, there must be a yardstick for measuring success and the vision must be there and you have to work hard and be disciplined to get to your end point.