By Omiko Awa
IT was like a mini-global carnival with parents and children from over 10 countries donning their traditional attires converge at Westmills and Busybees British School, GRA Apapa, Lagos, to celebrate the school’s International Day.
Organised by the school’s authorities in collaboration with its Parents Teacher Association (PTA), the colourful event showcased the dances and culture of the different nationals that make up the school.
With the theme, different Country, Same People, the gathering witnessed the students from different country recite their national anthems; tell their countries’ history, projecting its role international politics and reasons it must be a destination for other nationals.
Spicing the event was a mock trip to the various countries, which was in the school’s classrooms. Right from the school’s gate guests were issued travellers’ passport and visas, specifically designed for the event, to enable them visit the various countries’ stand. Like the normal visa, the document duly stamped by students acting as Immigration Officers enabled parents, visitors and non-indigenes of a particular country to go to countries of choice unmolested.
Each class aside from being decorated in a particular country’s colours, had students speaking the language serve visitors different delicacies, talk about their natural resources and tourism sites.
According to the PTA chairman, Mr. Nwaji Jibunoh, “the event apart from being educative serves as avenue for parents made up of different nationals to mingle, chart a way forward for the school and instill the spirit of unity in our children.”
On the reason for the day, the school’s head, Atinuke Aluko, said, “we decided to do this to make our children, who come from different parts of the world to understand the concept of diversity and how to relate with each other and irrespective of our coming from different countries, we are one people.”
She added, “the event is a way of teaching global love, acceptance and peace. In our school, we treat everyone as one, we don’t care where you are from; we treat everybody alike. We relate to each other as one and we are working very hard to achieve this in the children, because they see us model our behaviours to what we teach.”
Advising parents and policy-makers Aluko, said, “it is a good thing we begin to teach the children of the world how to relate with each other so that when their generation grows up, hopefully by God’s grace, they will begin to make a difference, maybe not to the whole world; but if we all make a difference in our environment, you never know how far-reaching we may get.”
“So, it is very crucial that parents and educators model the kind of behaviour they want their children to portray. We as a school understand that we are in charge of tomorrow’s leaders because we believe many of them will grow up to lead their countries and as such, we are very particular to teach them about leadership and how to conduct themselves in public,” she noted.
Speaking on what she had learnt from the programme Malak Mroue, said “ I have come to understand that we should live in unity by tolerating each other; though we may look different, somehow we are all connected. I think, it’s time the world realises this and live as one.”