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Private sector, individuals should key into developing education sector – NTIC boss

Fevzullah Bilgin is the managing director of Nigerian Tulip International College (NTIC). In this interview, he speaks about the need for the private sector and…

Fevzullah Bilgin is the managing director of Nigerian Tulip International College (NTIC). In this interview, he speaks about the need for the private sector and individual personalities to key into developing the education sector.

As a school administrator, could you share with me some milestones recorded by this institution under your watch?

Having been the Managing Director of Nigeria Tulip International Colleges for the past 3 years and a half; in my capacity, we have recorded several landmarks in the history of the school in both the curricular and co-curricular activities, which are:

Cambridge International Curriculum: We now have options for the Cambridge curriculum also known as the British curriculum for NTIC students. With a focus on IGCSE and A Level.

Life skills: Students initiate programs that alleviate problems that cert\in community experience. The Life Skills initiatives include NTIC students visiting some public schools to teach them various subjects with emphasis on the difficult areas for better understanding. We refer to this project as ‘Students Teaching Students’. Life skills also involve students’ visitation to Orphanage homes. Donations, renovations and other helpful activities are made available at the various orphanage homes NTIC students visit. In collaboration with NTIC Foundation, our students donate stationery, food items and other essential materials to various communities where they are incapacitated, majorly during Christmas and Ramadan seasons. Also, the Cycling Project was also initiated, and students

Career Experience: Students visit various organizations with major disciplines and areas of students’ discipline and interest, such as the Banking Sector, Hospitals, etc. The students visit based on career choices at least four times in a session. With this, they gain experience in these areas and career departments are set up in the school to cater to the student’s choice and to groom them professionally.

Technology Innovations: All our classes now have smart boards and projectors to make teaching and learning easy and make the students’ technology savvy. Creation of a science and technology innovation hub that is presently under construction on the premises of NTIC Abuja with a 400-meter square closed area. Here there will be twenty-four virtual reality augmented reality in learning various subjects, with robotics.

200 Essentials: in which students must complete their reading of 200 books before they graduate from NTIC. 100 books for the Primary school level and 100 for the Secondary school level.

One of your students, Oghenerukevwe Patrick Esemitodje, recently, won the 2023 Pan African Mathematics Olympiad (PAMO) in Rwanda. How would you describe this achievement?

Patrick’s Achievement at 2023 PAMO is an extraordinary one. He has not only made the school and his family proud but also Nigerian at large. The competition has in attendance a lot of African countries as participants and NTIC students, representing Nigeria came home with a Gold Medal. It is indeed an extraordinary performance. When people see the successes, they just see the news and the medals, for instance, Michael Pert the Swimmer from the UK and Usain Bolt from Jamaica; these people have studied, trained and worked a lot but people will not see these. The only thing that is visible to all is the fruits. These fruits require a lot of expertise and preparation. What we are seeing today is the results and fruits of the dedication and preparedness on the part of Patrick and the teachers who have put in their effort in training him and others.

The key areas where private schools mostly excel are the quality of teachers and a conducive environment. How are you doing in those areas?

NTIC as a school is putting in a lot of effort in the selection and recruitment process of qualified and the best teachers. We organize orientations, soft-landing, and training for the newly recruited teachers. We have an annual teacher’s workshop and training which we organized during the long vacation. Seasoned and trusted educational trainers and consultants from within and outside the country are put in charge of equipping and training our teachers during the annual workshop as our resource persons. Also, we have Saturday training and workshops, where the teachers come together under the leadership of the various Heads of Departments and Principals to discuss how to improve their teaching methodology and the delivery of lesson notes for the development and learning acquisition of the students.

We also conduct teacher appraisals, which are not done frivolously. The National Heads of Departments visit all the school branches to check and observe teachers activities and performance in the classroom and the school administration sees to the effectiveness of teachers’ activities in the class. The teachers are also expected to take exams at the end of each term. They are encouraged to study and improve themselves by taking internationally recognized exams and online training that the school has made accessible for them.

Incentives are made available to teachers with outstanding performances. Salary increments and promotions are given to our teachers to keep them in good shape. A lot goes into ensuring that our environment is conducive for learning for our teachers and students with a supply of modern equipment and facilities for learning; which will yield a productive result.

What do you hope to achieve with your partnership with N-Youth Sports Academy and the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development?

What we want to achieve with our partnership with N-Youth Sports Academy, we want to help students in sporting activities realize their potential in various athletics fields such as football, swimming, basketball, etc without neglecting their academic capacity and training. We want to help them gain their secondary education from a prestigious school and at the same time for them to have access to standard training in their chosen sporting activities. We want them to become role models and celebrities in the field of sports in the near future; representing Nigeria and raising the flag of Nigeria high in every tournament and competition that they will be participating in.

How do you intend to make your school different from others where exploitation and exam malpractice are the business of the day?

We are trying our best to allow our students and teachers to learn and develop in a transparent learning environment in which they get what they have worked for. For this reason, we are trying our best to stop examination malpractice so that wherever our students go, they become successful and self-confident. Our students are always known for outstanding performance wherever they go for further study and people tend to ask questions where they had their secondary education because of their readiness to learn and confidence. Our parents have often shared their experiences with us on their children’s performance and words of affirmation about their academic prowess even outside the country. Exam Malpractice will become a threat to all these testimonies and that is why we are frowning at it and we will not allow it in the school. We also ensure we give all necessary support to WAEC and other external bodies supervisors whenever they visit the school.

How do you view the standard of education in the country and what advice do you have for the government?

I think the standard of education is okay, just that there are challenges in the area of infrastructure, teachers qualifications, buildings and other facilities. The governments are trying their best to develop the conditions and I am aware that the state government is trying a lot. I think the citizens should not expect everything from the government, rather the private sector and individual personalities should be part of the solutions, by developing education and contributing their quotas. At NTIC, we are already providing full scholarships to one hundred and forty-four students, who are coming from different backgrounds across the country to study at NTIC. Though it’s a long-time goal, the investment we are making in these students will be evident in the near future as they will turn out to be important personalities building the nation.

Where do you see the institution in the near future?

NTIC in the near future will be producing successful students and one of the best schools in Nigeria and West Africa. Also, we will be partnering with a lot of institutions across the globe. We will continue to represent Nigeria in various international competitions

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