PASS TUTORIAL COLLEGE -“YOU CANT BEAT THIS!”
There were many tutorial schools in Lagos. These schools were of varied acclaim and competence. Some were big, others were mushroom. Some were serious while many were jokers. One thing was however common to most of them-they made fantastic claims.
On the other hand, the serious ones amongst them, the achievers, hardly made any noise. Sometimes they didn’t even advertise themselves. This was because they were already known by parents and students who used them. Such schools included Top Tutors at Ilupeju, Schoolmasters in Ikoyi, Foucos at Ebute-Metta and Prompt Academic Studies and Services or Pass Tutorial College (‘PASS’) at Festac Town. This was why The Guardian paid a visit to this center of educational excellence.
Ask any graduate student in Festac Satellite, Agboju, Amuwo or Ojo Towns about Prompt Academic Studies and Services and he or she might wonder what you are talking about. However, if you remember the acronym ‘P.A.S.S.’ there is always an instant recognition. Over the years ‘P.A.S.S.’ grew to become a household word in the towns mentioned above.
‘PASS’ we were made to understand by its neighbors had come as a relief and blessing to residents in Festac and the adjoining towns who hitherto had to send their children far away from their homes for remedial education. ‘PASS’, to many of them was a dream come true especially because of their daughters and the iron discipline with which the school was regulated.
On getting inside ‘PASS’ itself, it looked like a well-organized faculty of a University. The furniture was of tasteful quality, the arrangement was orderly and all rooms had airconditioners! Above all, there was absolute control over students’ movements, chit-chat and bric-a-brac. Movement of students as well as that of visitors were controlled and monitored from entrance at the gate.
At the time of our visit, tutorials were going on for SSCE JAMB and JSS1 to SS11 students. Unlike in many Lagos Schools, there was evident self-control and courtesy on the part of students. The tutors themselves, dressed neatly and sounded very business-like. We began to wonder who was in control of all these. We inquired and gathered that ‘PASS’ was established by three Rotarian friends, Kayode Odumosu, Lekan Otesile and Bode Johnson. These Rotarians had decided to concretize some of the Rotary ideals they had imbibed. Since then however, other non-Rotarian friends had been invited to join them.
In order to gather more information on this centre of academic excellence we met Mr. Kayode Odumosu (an economist, a chartered accountant and a chartered secretary) who was one of the three founders of the centre.
According to him “since all of us cannot become the President of the country, or Lagos State Governor or the Chairman of Amuwo Odofin LGA at the same time, it was better for individuals to quietly appraise the situation and resolve within themselves on how best they could be useful to the community in which they live”.
But what about profit-motivation, we asked him. “There is no community-oriented enterprise honestly-originated and vigorously pursued with the desire to provide service that will not ultimately pay off” he replied. With regard to PASS itself this is what he had to say.
“At inception ‘PASS’ was catering for Secondary School Students and remedial candidates preparing for JAMB and School Certificate/GCE examinations. Gradually Primary school students sitting for the National Common Entrance and secondary students on holidays were added to the programme. Very soon ‘PASS’ shot itself to a leadership position amongst kindred institutions around Festac, Satellite, Navy and Ojo Towns. This was especially because of hundreds of admission of its students to Universities over the years. Furthermore, ‘PASS’ had evolved a culture of high moral standards amongst its students for their academic aspirations” he said.
Our further inquiries showed that there was no other school of its kind around the vicinity that had expanded and diversified in that manner within such a short space of time. On how this was achieved Mr. Odumosu added “We the proprietors have a paid a lot of dues. Personally, I have closely monitored the school since I left Christlieb Plc in 1989 (where he was the Group Company Secretary). In maintaining a high standard of academics, ‘PASS’ took care to engage quality teachers who had proven abilities to deliver the goods. The minimum academic qualification was the NCE for the JSS. Beyond this, however, a rigorous interview was conducted to ensure a close correlation between academic achievement and actual on-the-job ability and performance”. As one of the teachers commented after his employment interview into PASS ‘one would think the interview was for a United Nations job’.
According to one of the parents met and interviewed by the Guardian “Mediocre students would generally not like ‘PASS’ as it did not give them opportunity to display truancy. On the other hand, the serious-minded students and we the parents are ever grateful to the proprietors of ‘PASS’. The school’s achievements are evident to all of us”.
For the future, Mr. Odumosu was of the hope that the school would develop into a private secondary school to be known as “Mason College or Grammar School”. An application had been made to the Federal Housing Authority (F.H.A) as far back as 1989 for land for the school and a community newspaper sponsored by the school called ‘Mile 2 Herald”. The school already had a working Board of Trustees consisting of educationists, social scientists and a former Commissioner of Education in Lagos State. It was hoped that the F.H.A. would in future grant appropriate land to the school for the said purpose.
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