The Pioneer Principal of the University’s International School (FUNIS), Mrs. Adeola Olumide, pulled out recently at a colourful Valedictory Ceremony held in her honour, having spent over nine years as the Principal. Fondly called ‘Mama FUNIS’, the 68-year old described her voluntary retirement as necessary, in order to take a break from a worthwhile career.
“Every child that has passed through this School has taken a part of me away and anywhere they remember, they would either send a curse or a prayer”. “I am a part of this School and this School is part of me”, she declared. Mrs. Olumide commended the parents for their support, praying that their children would continue to be sources of joy and pride to them. While appreciating the teachers, she urged them to continue to be committed, diligent and steadfast, cautioning that “without the children, we have no business being in the School”. To the students, she said they must learn how to speak out and not be rude to elders. Her words, “if you continue to keep quiet, things would elude you. Learn how to speak out, that’s where your salvation lies”.
Earlier, a member of FUNAAB’s Governing Council and the Chairman of FUNIS Board, Chief Olukayode Akindele, stated that his interest was rekindled when the pioneer Principal conducted him on a brief tour of the School. “Suddenly, I came across a group of five students, standing tall, smart and
exhuming confidence. These students approached and most courteously greeted us with pride and confidence and continued on their way. It instantly dawned on me that the good old African cultural values of decency, respect and discipline is at work in this School”. Chief Akindele pledged to transform FUNIS into a real international School of a University advancing to a world class status. His words, “We will add unquantifiable value across board to every area of FUNIS, God being our help. We are going to prepare and submit to Council a four year strategic plan with the vision of making FUNIS the first among the best”, he declared. He paid glowing tributes to the retiring Principal, describing her as a gem, and a woman whose forthrightness was unbeatable.
Corroborating this, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole noted that inspite of the School’s enormous challenges, it still remained the only arm of the University who had given Management the least challenge in the past 14 months. He added that, this would not have been possible if not for the focused and well-disciplined Principal who knew her onions, well. “Many parents brought their children to this School because of her. When her name is mentioned, what readily comes to mind is discipline, excellence, integrity and commitment”, he declared. “You have left a legacy and this is
not the end of you, as you are moving to greater heights. You cannot rest now as you will pick up another challenge”, he noted. Speaking to the students, the Vice-Chancellor said, “I want to assure you that you are in the best place as your future is bright”.
In his Address, former Federal Minister of Works and the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of FUNAAB’s Governing Council, Senator Sir/Dr. Adeseye Ogunlewe, reiterated the earlier stand of the Council not to interfere in the activities of the School, but only to monitor, he declared. “We will turn FUNIS into a centre of excellence. If you have not attended the School, you have not attended any School”. He frowned at the government’s inability to fund primary and secondary schools again, asking “what has happened to us in this nation?” Senator Ogunlewe however advised the students to read as if examinations is tomorrow. “There is time for everything, a time to read and a time to play”, he stressed. “Seize this opportunity to read hard; your parents have supported you and you have to prove to them as a worthy child”, he said. He called on parents to make periodic visits to the School and ask questions from teachers about their children and how the School is doing and added, “Don’t be afraid; if you see anything we are not doing well, tell us”, he said.
Mrs. Adeola Olumide was accompanied to the programme by her husband, Rear Admiral Olufemi Olumide (Rtd), some of her children and many dignitaries from within and outside the state in a ceremony that featured colourful performances from staff and students.