I would like to welcome you by telling you a bit of my life’s story, the reason for venturing into providing educational services. Perhaps boring, but it is a story any parent who wishes ‘greatness’ for their child(ren) should like to hear. I come from a very modest background, the fifth in a family of eight children. Unfortunately, my father died when I was very young and my mother, in spite of her resilience and hard work, could not afford to send us all to secondary school. So she enrolled me into a typing institute at Illah. Even the N2.00 (two Naira) school fees per term were a challenge considering she had many other mouths to feed. But the proprietor of the Institute was so inspired by my devotion and diligence he waived the school fees if I agreed to coach the elderly part-time students learning to type. I was only 15 years old when I passed my 25/50 words per minute in typewriting and shorthand, respectively. Fortunately, there was an advertisement that typists were required at the Ministry of Education, Ogwashi-uku. I applied along with some of my friends, two of whom were slightly older than me. We passed the practicals, but were too young to be employed. So the Ministry decided to post us to secondary schools, out of sight of prying eyes. I was posted to Ibusa College, Ibusa, but my sojourn there was short-lived.
We heard there was a school in Benin City, where one could work in the day and study part-time for WAEC/GCE O/Levels. I resigned my post at Ibusa College and headed for Benin City, where I got a job as a Confidential Secretary at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), and then enrolled at the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) TV road, Benin City. I had, by this time, passed my 50/140 words per minute in Typewriting and Shorthand, respectively, and was posted to the office of the then Provost & Chief Medical Director of the hospital. I combined this job with evening school at ICE, where I eventually sat for and obtained my GCE O/levels. I later sat for JAMB and gained admission into the University of Benin to study law in 1986.
I graduated Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in Second Class, Upper Division in 1990, went to the Nigerian Law School and was enrolled as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria on 10 December 1991. I returned to the University of Benin as an Assistant Lecturer where I taught various courses including Constitutional Law, Law of Contract and Commercial law. Whilst at the University of Benin, I enrolled for a Master of Laws (LLM) degree at the University of Lagos and graduated in 1994 before proceeding to London, having been awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship for Postgraduate Studies at the London School of Economics, University of London. I graduated there in 1995 with a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in Environmental Law. I then re-qualified and was enrolled as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales on 1 July 1999. Not satisfied with these modest accomplishments, I enrolled for my doctorate at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and obtained my PhD in Environmental Law in December 2011, while continuing to practice as a solicitor in London.
I have shared this story, not out of ego or the desire to impress, but simply to demonstrate how education can change a person’s life or a nation’s fortunes. I believe that while education did not guarantee wealth or success in life, at the least, it warrants against poverty – poverty of ideas and ignorance. Education opens new vistas, new possibilities and it provides and equips a person with the tools for self-actualisation, to contribute towards the development of his/her community, country and the world at large. This is what education has done for me, and that is the reason for setting up Holborn Academy with friends of like minds, who had experiences, albeit not exactly as mine. Our intention is to catch the children from cradle (uncontaminated by the depressing value system and the near-collapse of our public educational system), mould them (through our Nursery, Reception, Primary and Secondary school, and eventually our University), into good global citizens, so that in the fullness of time they would make even greater contributions towards re-building our nation, our world.
So, enrolling your child(ren) at Holborn Academy is only the beginning of long and fruitful relationship, by which we hope to nurture them through various facets of their educational endeavours. They would start in the nursery or primary departments here at our Wuse II campus, then join our secondary department (which will be entirely residential) from where they would enrol into our undergraduate programmes in the next few years. So what we provide is a seamless transition from one stage of your child’s education to another. We also plan affiliations with Universities in the United Kingdom whose curricula (both for Foundation and Degree courses) would be offered, run and moderated here in Nigeria, with exchange programmes for certain courses between our main campus in Abuja and the affiliate University’s campus in the United Kingdom.
We look forward to welcoming your children to Holborn Academy and we pledge not to betray the trust you would repose in us by entrusting your child’s education into our care, but to meet all your expectations and more.