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EDUCATIONAL GROWTH AND PROGRESS

Being a Valedictory Speech delivered by Dr. Jinadu, Noah Lawal, at the Valedictory/Graduation Ceremony of the Landmark College, Unity Estate, Ikorodu, on Saturday, 16th July, 2011. BISMILLHI AL-RAHMN AL-RAHM, WASSALTU WASSALM AL ASHRAFI AL-MURSALN, WA AL LIHI WA ASHBIHI, WA MAN TABIAU BI IHSNIN IL YAUMI AL- QIYMAH. AMN MAY THE PEACE AND BLESSING OF ALLAH BE ON THE MOST HONOURED MESSENGER OF ALLAH, HIS HOUSEHOLD, COMPANIONS AND THOSE WHO FOLLOW HIS PATH TILL THE DAY OF ACOUNTABILITY, AMEN. It is a great pleasure for me to be here today, and be given this opportunity to deliver one of the valedictory speeches, Let me first of all congratulate the school administrator and the principal for their hard earned success in steering the wheel of this great citadel of learning and their unrelenting and wonderful team, who have been highly instrumental, collaborative, and responsible enough to give all they have in terms of rare skills, talent, and intellect regardless of the usual ups and downs, twists and turns often experienced in the distressing process of imparting high-quality education to our future scholars and leaders, sons and daughters, yours is indeed an appreciable and landmark contribution(s) to humanity. Let me also congratulate you, the successful and fruitful parents on your good and supportive parenting, one which has seen the graduates through their study, and today you feel fulfilled and happy. And to you the graduating students, the class of 2011, is my warm and sincere congratulation, for your successful completion of your study in Landmark College. Today you have been honoured and celebrated for your unique performance and achievement in your study. This beautiful convergence and ceremony would not have been possible were it not for your resounding and kudos-deserving performance. You also need to know that this achievement is made possible by no one other than your Lovely God the Almighty Allah, for Whom all praises is due, I think you owe Him a resonant and hall-rending appreciative phrase of A L H A M D U L L I L L A H I, can I hear you say that in unison. That phrase is relevant considering your innocent past experience which is a mixture of good and bad, this experience had long being vividly and intuitively expressed by an Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950) when he says: There is nothing on earth intended for innocent people so horrible as a school. It is in some respects more cruel (crueler) than a prison. In a prison, for example, you are not forced to read books written by the warders and the governor. Let me add that as horrible as school is, it is still morally far better than prison, prison is for the bad people and law breakers. You need to know that most of the world leaders, wealthy, scientists, engineers, lawyers, teachers, and the religious have passed through school and they are now happy and fulfilled. You have also passed through a level of school education, and there are bigger and higher schools to be attended (e.g. polytechnic, university, college of education, etc).

Indeed, what you have achieved today marks the end of a very significant phase in your life, but you also need to know that it marks the beginning of the next most important phase of a new life after school, the reality is that you are in an endless life-time process and struggle. Education, according to the Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (SAW) is from cradle to grave al-ilm min al-mahdi il al-lahdi- Knowledge is from cradle to grave, he also says man qla Innahu lim falaysa biliminwhoever says he is knowledgeable is not. To further buttress this insights a U.S. philosopher and educator, John Dewey (1859-1952) states that The educational process has no end beyond itself; it is its own end. Real education according to Ezra Pound (1885-1972) must ultimately be limited to one who INSISTS on knowing, the rest is mere sheep-herding. Also according to John Shaw Billings (1838-1913), a Physician and Librarian, The education of the doctor which goes on after he has his degree is, after all, the most important part of his education. Let me also refresh and entertain your mind by quoting an Arab philosophical Poet who says:


Translation:

No one acquires all knowledge, not even if he studies it for thousand years; because knowledge (like sea) is very deep, hasten always to achieve all that is good of it So you can see from the above quotable sayings of great achievers in life that you are in for a big task ahead, you have to be up and doing, growing, relentless, hardworking and above all pious and prayerful. Because Education is worthy of your efforts, sweat and struggle. Education gives you life, power, honour, and hope, it raises you up from the despicably low and makes of you a shining star, a focus of all aspiring eyes. Allah (SAW) says: Qul hal yastaw al-ladhna yalamn wa al-ladhna l yalamn, wa m yadhakkaru ill lu al-bb - Say, Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know? It is those who are endued with understanding that receive admonition (Quran 39: 9), He also says: yarfai al-lahu al-ladhna man minkum wa ladhna tu alilma darajt, wa al-lhu bim tamalna khabr Allah will raise up, to suitable ranks and degrees, those of you who believed and who have been granted knowledge, and Allah is well-acquainted with all ye do. It is also important to know that God in the Holy Quran chapter 2, Verses 30-34, made the angels bow down for Adam because of knowledge, a test was conducted by God, the angels failed and Adam passed and excelled. The lesson derivable from this Quranic anecdote is that If you want to be respected like Adam in this contemporary society and beyond, you have got to be knowledgeable and excellent. One time Prime Minister and a prolific writer, Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) has once stated that Upon the education of the people of this country the fate of this country depends, in this light all hopes therefore are pinned on you all, Nigerian society, your teachers and parents puts all their unaccomplished aspirations and goals on you, you must not let them down, very soon the parents would wished to address you as Professors, Drs, Engrs, lawyers, principals, etc., and the society would be proud to

address you as Government Chairmen/ladies, Commissioners, Governors, Ministers, Senators, etc. It is possible for you all to live up to expectations and aspirations, all you need is to be up and doing, upright, steadfast and prayerful. What Landmark College has given you thus far is very appreciable and considerable, but you still need more skills to learn, aptitude to succeed, abilities and creativity to make a difference, to work to meet the needs and assist in solving the problems that are facing our society. You all need to be thirsty, ambitious and moving. You must, in addition to this, pay attention to and focus on three basic things as noted by Thomas Arnold (1795-1842), first religious and moral principles; secondly, gentlemanly conduct; thirdly, intellectual ability. Let me end my speech with a prophetic advice for ambitious and aspiring children/students like you. He says: ihfadhi al-lha yahfadhuka, ihfadhi al-lha tajidhu tujhaka, ihfadh huddu al-lhi, wa ri huqqah tajidi al-lha yuwaffiqukah wa yansurak, idh saalta fasali al-lha, wa idh istaanta fastain bi al-lhi, walam anna al-ummata law ijtamaat al an yanfaka bishayin lam yanfaka illa bishayin qad katabahu al-lhu laka, wa in ijtama al an yadhurrka bi shayin lam yadhurrka illa bishayin qad katabahu al-lhu alayk, rufiat al-aqlm wa jaffati al-suhuf. Meaning:

(1) (2) (4)

Be god-conscious and you see God much more conscious and caring about you.

If you are mindful of God, you see Him before you, leading you aright, making you successful and assisting you. (3) If you must ask for anything, ask God, or seek assistance, seek Gods help. You should know that if the whole world gather to benefit you on anything, they wont be able to do it without God, and if they gather to harm you, they wont be able to do that without Gods permit, because pens had been raised and manuscript dried and folded.

In view of this divinely revealed golden advice, you should have it at the back of your minds that you need God to be able to achieve greatness in life, couple with some hard work and diligence Allah says wa al-ladhna jhad fn lanahdiyannahum subulan, wa inna al-lha lamaha al-muhsinn And those who strive in our cause, We will certainly guide them to our paths, for verily Allah is with those who do right Quran 29:69. I wish you all more successes in this life and hereafter. And I pray that the Almighty in His infinite mercy continues to crown the efforts of the winning team of Landmark College with spates of success, very soon we would hear Landmark International University competing with the world best University. Congratulations once again to all and thank you. .