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Reward of excellence, the DRBS example in Enugu

THE Divine Rays British School (DRBS) Obosi, Anambra State, may not easily provoke the attention accorded a few schools presumed to be the best in Nigeria. But the school, which is relatively new, barely six years old, has no less grooming skill than the best. It has since its inception, attained a grandeur yet to be equaled by its contemporaries.

Founded in 2017 by the spiritual director of the Holy Ghost Adoration Ministry, Uke, Reverend Father Emmanuel Obimma, the school is always listed among performing schools in Nigeria. It has won awards, state and national, and has represented Nigeria in a couple of international competitions.  

This piece is not so much about the school’s academic record as it is about its ability to spot talents, nurture and sponsor them. The emergence of Ernest Ofoama as one of the 36 state champions in the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), administered by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), and the best in Enugu State, was as much of his effort as it is the school’s commitment to excellence. 

Ejike Anyaduba

In 2022, the school competed for and won the Horn Entrepreneurship Award, organized by Diamond Challenge of the University of Delaware, Dover, United States of America. It beat Mater Amabilis Secondary School, Umuoji (First runner-up), Caleb British International School, Lekki, Lagos, African Church Model School, Ifako, Lagos, Vetland Senior Grammar School, Agege, Lagos, Iju Senior Grammar School, Iju, Lagos among others to clinch the coveted prize and represent Nigeria at the Global Summit in the University. It also competed in Kampala, Uganda,  for African Spelling Bee, CRUX Mathematics competition, Ikeja Lagos, et al, and has continued to win awards in academics, sports, and moral formation.

Ofoama is brilliant and his performance was not a flash in the pan. As a matter of fact, his academic record predates Divine Rays British School. But it took more than just his brilliance to unleash his genius. It took the effort, encouragement of the principal of the school Mrs. Stephanie Ezeibeanu and her teachers to spot Ofoama, groom him, and put him on the school’s scholarship program. Ezeibeanu had had a taste of fame as a winner of Peter Obi’s First Class Graduate Award.

Consequently, he was placed on Rev. Fr. Obimma’s scholarship scheme throughout his Senior Secondary School as were many others who excelled in their studies. He was consistently exposed to many science competitions within and outside Nigeria, most of which he won and currently defends the prizes. Ofoama is the two time defending champion of the highly competitive Archbishop Valerian Okeke Science Competition (AVOSCO), sponsored by the Onitsha Metropolitan See. He is the sort of student that teachers don’t put in reach of competitions because he would participate and win.

In addition to Divine Rays British School’s academic records, it upholds a standard of ethics in grooming its student. The school frowns at intemperate behavior among its students and deliberateness of jobsworths and indolence on the part of its teaching staff. To its credit, it produced in its first year of graduation the highest JAMB scorer in Enugu. With 347 marks, 13 short of the national overall highest scorer, Ofoama towered above other competing students in Enugu. 

His performance in JAMB was expected. He was seen and known in the school as dutiful and an exceptional student with no want of determination to abide by the rigours of academic work in the school.  Before this time, he was the best graduating student in the class of 2023 from the school. He also made A’s in the five subjects he sat for during his Cambridge Examination (GCSE). The school is in partnership with the Cambridge school and therefore sits for its examinations.

Ofoama who was on scholarship before the UMTE result has received more grants and cash rewards since. His performance has opened him up to more scholarship grants and offered him great opportunities to study anywhere he pleases. Shortly before he was invited and hosted by the Enugu State governor, Peter Mbah, on account of his performance, he left DRBS with a Lifetime Scholarship award to any level he wished to attain in education. Impressed by his pioneering excellence, Rev. Fr. Obimma offered him the Lifetime Scholarship in order to enable him study for as long as he could. The Lifetime Scholarship award is institutional and not exclusive to Ofoama as it is available to whoever that attains and or breaks his record.

Mbah while hosting him on August 21, 2023, promised to assist him in studying any course of his choice. Renewed Hope Initiative, the NGO of the First Lady, Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu, equally awarded him, alongside 35 other state champions, a national scholarship. The scholarship is for a four year program with a yearly N1 million grant and a laptop. More than that, he was also hosted alongside the other state champions on Saturday, August 26, at the Banquet hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

DRBS is working ahead to ensure that the weeds of academic indolence do not grow to choke the growth of many of its students who are bound in the path of excellence. Ofoama remains its poster child whose light for his successors must continue to shine as success is a function of hard work if properly nurtured.



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