How the Story Began
As a young couple, we have been running a Pharmacy/supermarket premise situated within the Students Union Building (SUB) at the FUNAAB campus for about 8 years. Things were rosy until we started experiencing a lot of pilferage and fraud from our workers. We (my wife and I) got busier with other things and we were no longer staying in the shop like we used to do when the business began. The climax was reached when all the occupants of SUB were asked to leave simultaneously to allow for renovation of the entire building. We were not called back for the occupancy until 2 years elapsed and by that time we completed all arrangements to start another premise within our residence. The store was ready for commissioning, but suddenly, my wife raised the idea that we should go into the education industry in order to help the kids in our immediate environment achieve excellence via quality early childhood learning.
After praying over the issue to the almighty God, we both decided to suspend the Pharmacy business for now and face the education industry work, a vocation whereby ‘monkeys’ will not be much to eat our ‘peanut earnings’. We started with about 17kids after the campaigns and jingles we embarked upon during the holiday before September 2012. We were lucky to have met friends of ours whom we had patronized for many years, Mr and Mrs Adewunmi, Bright Café. Their kids, Melody and Esther, so lovely, became our pioneer kids along with others with our own, Price being the first enrolled child. Oh! We were so grateful to God, to Uncle Ayo Ijiola and Precious, my son Precious who both played the music and went inside the houses in the community promoting the school.
All our 5 teachers conspired together and resigned on the same day, the resumption time of the new session in 2013. Reasons they gave afterwards revolved around their dissatisfaction on our insistence on high quality teaching methodology of which they could not cope with, our doggedness on the usage of the computer technology to teach and to set questions, staff discipline and conduct. We employed new teachers under one week. It was a heartbreaking and terrible experience for the school. Something we thought we could not achieve, God surprised us with more competent staff. Since that time, we demanded that they needed to give a one month’s notice or paid in lieu just in case they wanted to resign on emergency.
This gave us more time to train any new teacher before the old one left and also allowed the school to still maintain a good relationship with the outgoing teacher for a long time. New staff members that continued to care for our kids did the job so well. It was a great opportunity of meeting the most beautiful girl, our own pupil, Favour whom the parents changed her school when they relocated to another community far from Camp, Abeokuta.
It staggers one’s imagination that registration of the school was completed even up to the primary level within the first 2 years of operation. It was a rare opportunity but we were fortunate to meet my kinsman, Mr Odunfa who was part of the team of inspectors that accredited the school from Zonal Education Office , Odeda.
Our PTA meeting (now “Home and School Club”) held in 2013 with the Community Development Association (CDA) executives and the Proprietor’s mother, Mrs. Caroline Oyedele in attendance. It was a wonderful time to showcase Uncle David’s paintings, the artworks of our kids and the presentation of the new uniform.
Vertical extension of the building was necessary as Arishians began to grow numerically and this ongoing project had given an extra room to accommodate the Museum of Natural History/Fish tank room jointly set up along with the Director of the FUNAAB zoo, Dr. Oyatogun. As the number of kids grew greatly, there was a dire need to improve power supply for computer classwork/ICT and to also operate the videos and fans during the afternoons, the school had embarked on and employed the inverter technology project, and also proposed solar powered technology in the nearest future to encourage uninterrupted power supply for the Professional ICT/ Digital room of the school. A great contribution was made by one of the parents, Mr. Adewunmi of Bright Cafe, t o I C T experience of Arish. The c o m p a n y h o s t e d t h e kids in an excursion to their facility and also provided internet service at subsidized rate to the school. Many learnt the usefulness of internet and browsing with other digital technology the company was providing. The confidence of the kids in themselves were regularly being built to prevent them from being victims of bullying via the “show and tell day”. The kids were expected to wear a special color code for uniformity on this day where they discussed different topics of interest. Children below 1 year of age were usually cared for at the daycare arm of the school.
Parents and kids are the real Employers of Proprietors and Faculty members. Schools and institutes that do not share this philosophy will lose privileges of serving the public. The ideal education involves application of practical knowledge of things learnt in theory. Special focus will be on teaching kids on how to apply the theoretical knowledge they receive. The ideal education Arish aims to achieve has commenced and we will continue to deal more with practice and less with theory in the future. Parents are therefore encouraged to invest in such quality Early Childhood Education, which makes children become scholastic leaders in the nearest future. One million naira was just good enough to start the Arish facility.
From all of us, we say thank you and we bid you welcome to the Arish Home School Community,
Camp, FUNAAB road, Abeokuta.