Maintaining a high standard usually comes with an equally high price tag. However, Principal of Deeper Life High School, Nteje in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State, Mr. Sunday Okoro, says the school does not mind paying the price to achieve excellence and maintain its standard.
Speaking at a briefing, Okoro said the 11-year-old school could go any length to ensure its students excel in their studies, including paying the low candidature penalty charged by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) when schools are unable to provide the required minimum number of students for its examinations.
He said: “The background we provide for the students is such that once you’re not willing to study no one can assist you in the exam Hall. Initially they saw it as wickedness until they gained entrance into tertiary institutions.
“Even if it is only six students we have in JS1, we take that number to SS3. We do not even mind if they drop to two students. We are ready to pay fine of N30,000 to WAEC for not producing up to 25 students, instead of compromising standards by merging them with students from another school.
“Right from the onset, we have been paying that fee. That is to tell you the level of academic training we offer our students. In this school, we have three major things we don’t joke with – we worship God, we eat and we read.”
Okoro said the school’s policy of pursuing excellence was yielding results as its population was gradually increasing.
“We started with only 13 students and six educators. But today, we have 166 students and 22 educators. We have made remarkable marks, academically and morally. We had our first graduands in 2016, with excellent results in WAEC and NECO, without exam malpractice
“There is no cultism at all here. Most of them that were wayward when they came got transformed. Each time we are giving reports to Pastor Kumuyi, he is always happy. And we the teachers are happy too,” he said.
With insecurity increasingly becoming a concern across the country, Okoro said the school prioritises safety within its walls.
“As per security, it is so tight and guaranteed that for the past 10 years of our existence, we have not recorded any hazards that could trigger stampede. We have been graduating decent girls. A manageress with a minimum of NCE handles 16 students.
“All our house masters undergo rigorous trainings and they stay with the students. In the 22 campuses