By Chioma Ndife
To achieve academic excellence and improve teachers’ effectiveness, the staff members of Bubendorf Memorial Grammar School, Adazi-Nnukwu, have undergone a one day retreat/seminar on the theme, ”Bubendorf: Yesterday, today and tomorrow”, for an evaluative insight into the transitional activities of the College in order to determine the state of its growth.
Fides gathered that the teachers formation organized by Rev. Fr. Theodore Ekwem-led
management at Archbishop A. K. Obiefuna Retreat, Pastoral and Conference Centre on September 16, was meant to give the teachers new insights on modern and efficient teaching methods for improved teachers’ classroom delivery to enhance students’ qualitative learning experiences.
Declaring the seminar open with a reflection on Catholic education in the light of Vatican II, the Awka Diocesan Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Francis Chidume, highlighted the interest of the Church in the formation of young ones.
Drawing from the document: ”Gravisimum Educationis”; Fr. Chidume said that Catholic education was a mission so dear to the Mother Church and identified various programmes and activities which the diocese had put in place to achieve its vision of holistic education as a measure for a better society.
He commended the giant strides that had been recorded in Bubendorf and charged the Management Team to explore other areas of development, noting that the reward for work done was more work. He beckoned on the teachers to see their work principally as a vocation, saying that the success or failure of the children later in life depended primarily on their input.
Contributing, the Principal of St. Patrick’s College, Awka, who moderated the interactive session with his personal experiences, said there was need for the teachers to become ambitious, urging them never to stop at anything in the
quest to delivery qualitative education to the students.
Delivering the lead paper on ”the Role of Staff in a achieving a culture of Academic Excellence”, an academic guru at Pope John Major Seminary, Okpuno, Rev. Fr. Evaristus Ifeanacho, explained that the involvement of all the members helped to create a common educative culture rooted in common objectives, fundamental values of the school community and also on the methods to be applied in pursuit of these values.
He maintained that a true educative community had to be founded in an atmosphere of love, moral authority, security, trust, mutual learning, proper motivations and solid values.
He emphasized the need for teachers to understand the learners’ personalities by taking cognizance of the intellectual, emotional, social, physiological and moral dimension of the learner. He charged teachers to take their teaching profession which he described as a vocation that dealt with human formation. He noted that teaching activities should include the stimulus-organism-response, where the learner was the organism responding to the teaching content.
Speaking on the motive behind the seminar, the Principal of BMGS, Rev. Fr. Theodore Ekwem, said it was simply to appraise and renew the strength and mission of teachers.
‘We decided to step out to an uncommon environment to have
an ample time to talk and discuss how we have carried out our responsibilities all this while. The feedback that came from the seminar through the teachers has been amazing.
‘Our target is to achieve a united work force ready for exploits, via committed efforts, all for the good of our students and society,’ he explained.
Adding his voice, the assistant manager, Fr. Hilary Okwunalu, said the programme was mapped out for the teachers to refresh their minds and equip themselves for the new academic session in order to form the students better. He regretted that the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent sit-at-home had some negative effects on the students, saying that modalities on how to up the academic and moral requirements of the students had been examined critically.
For her part, the Vice Principal, Administration, Mrs. Martha Nwajiaku, said that resumption retreat was to encourage the teachers for them to propel the students better and bring out the hidden talents in them. She maintained that based on what she had been exposed to during the seminar, she would concretize her teaching and motivate students to learn better.
The Seminar was wrapped up with a courtesy call to the Anambra State Head of Service, Barr. Harry Uduh.
Rev. Fr. Evaristus Ifeanacho driving home his point during the Seminar for BMGS Teachers at Retreat Center, Okpuno.