By Adekunle Williams

The Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University (LASU) Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello has advised the secondary students to take advantage of their youthful age in order to become relevant in the future.

Olatunji-Bello gave the advice at the 10th Annual Programme for Outgoing Secondary School Students and Out-of-School Youths organised by the Future Matters Concept (FMC) in Lagos on Friday.

The theme of the programme: “Maximising Trends for Future Relevance” with a concept: Beyond Secondary Schools What Next (B.S.S.W.N).

Over 1000 students from 18 secondary schools attended the programme, they are: Elias International School, Agege, Government Senior College, Lagooz School, State Senior High School, Oyewole, Agege, Government Senior College, Agege.

Others included: Sanmo Senior Secondary School, Agege, Pinnacle School, Agege, LABASCO International School, Olu-Victory Land College, Lagos Baptist Senior College, Vetland Grammar School, Divine Blessed College, Diary Farm Senior Secondary School, among others.

Delivering her keynote address, Olatunji-Bello, represented by Prof. Yetunde Abiola, Department of Primary Health Care, LASU, noted that there had been noticeable shift in the trends of engagements amongst the younger ones..

According to her, the youths these days are faced with various challenges that seemed to take advantage of their youthfulness.

Olatunji-Bello advised the students to focus on their studies for a better understanding of the modern world and new social, political and economic trends.

The VC said the outgoing students must prepare for the challenges ahead because the future is uncertain.

“It is your future and you have the opportunities now to decide what your future will look like and it is by taking decision in the right direction.

“The future depends on you because the youths are our future but you must first define who you are now.

“My children, you must also have integrity style, set a goal and if you want to become a leader, you must be ready to become a servant and how to solve their problems.

“If you want to become a leader, you must start from your house, in your place of worship, communities and your schools, in all you must ask God to give you the wisdom to show you the way,” she said.

Speaking, the Pioneer Member, Governing Council, Lagos State University of Education, Dr Yinka Ayandele said for students to be progressive in today’s fast-paced and challenging world, students need more than academics.

Ayandele claimed that by complementing academics with extracurricular activities, students would be well-positioned to face the future.
“Our world has changed, and every day, it becomes more evident that many Nigerian graduates are not well-prepared for life after school.

“This is because they lack valuable skills such as entrepreneurship, communication, emotional intelligence, leadership, critical thinking, and growth mindset.

“The root of this problem can be traced back to elementary and secondary schools focusing mainly on academics,” she said.

Speaking on how to recognise opportunities in the 21st Century, the Vice-Chairman, Agege Local Government Area, Mr Gbenga Abiola, said the younger ones were the future of today for the positive effect of tomorrow.

Abiola noted that every single opportunities started from within but the problem of the youths was lack of abilities to discover themselves early.

The politician said it took him 12 years to rediscover himself after he had finished his secondary school.

Also, Mr Jide Ologun, the Country Vice Chairman, Transformation Opportunities Providers (TOP) Foundation said when the youths know where they were going the world would step aside for them.

Earlier, the Convener, Mr Adewale Adeleye, in his welcome address, noted that Beyond Secondary Schools What Next (B.S.S.W.N) was a concept aimed at inspiring excellent attitude towards academic pursuits among the youths.

“This concept also provided adequate information on career choices, leadership and entrepreneurship, digital skills and addressing issues of substance abuse.

“Our target audiences are the outgoing senior secondary students as well as out-of-school youths,” he said.

He said this edition was aimed at addressing the present challenges and present them with how to embrace positive trends for future relevance.

Speaking on behalf of the students, Master Udom Akim, said he had gained immense knowledge from the speakers of this event.

Akim said the convener had brought facilitators who had impacted them on their past experience for them to apply them on their field.

” It is now expected that I share everything that j had learned during this programme with my peers back at school and my community,” he said.


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