DRBS and the making of Enugu state JAMB champion

By Ejike Anyaduba

Divine Rays British School (DRBS) Obosi, Anambra State, may not easily provoke the attention accorded a few schools presumed to be the best in Nigeria perhaps because of its relative newness. But the school which is barely six years old has no less grooming skill than the best, and has since attained academic grandeur yet to be equaled by any of its contemporaries. In fact, the achievements of schools its age if pitted against the DRBS’s, easily pale in comparison.

Founded in 2017 by the devout and charismatic spiritual director of the Holy Ghost Adoration Ministry, Uke, and Parish Priest of Blessed Iwene Tansi Catholic Church, Umudioka, both in Anambra State, Reverend Father Emmanuel Obimma, (Ebube One Touch) the school has as yet to miss on the attendance check of performing schools in Nigeria. It has won awards, state and national, and has on a number of occasions represented Nigeria in international competitions.

It is well time to remember that in 2022, the school competed for and won the Horn Entrepreneurship Award,put together by Diamond Challenge of the University of Delaware, Dover, United States of America. It beat Mater Amabilis Secondary School, Umuoji (First runner-up), Caleb British International School, Lekki, Lagos, African Church Model School, Ifako, Lagos, Vetland Senior Grammar School, Agege, Lagos, Iju Senior Grammar School, Iju, Lagos among others to clinch the coveted prize and represent Nigeria at the Global Summit in the University. It did not end there, it has also competed in Kampala, Uganda, for African Spelling Bee, CRUX Mathematics competition, Ikeja Lagos, et al, and has continued to win awards in academics, sports, and moral formation.

However, this piece is not so much about the school’s academic performance record as it is about its ability to spot talents, nurture and sponsor them. The emergence of Ernest Ofoama as one of the 36 state champions in the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) administered by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), and the best in Enugu state, was as much of his effort as it is the school’s diligence and painstaking commitment to excellence. Ofoama is no doubt brilliant and has been that way all through. His performance was not a flash in the pan. As a matter of fact, his impressive academic record predates Divine Rays British School. But it took more than just his brilliance to unleash his genius. There was of course encouragement from the dynamic principal of the school Mrs. Stephanie Ezeibeanu who had had a taste of fame as a winner of ex-Governor Peter Obi’s First Class Graduate Award. It took her effort and those of her teachers to spot Ofoama, groom him, and put him on the scholarship program of the school. Consequently, he was placed on Rev. Fr. Obimma’s scholarship scheme throughout his Senior Secondary School as were many others who also excelled in their studies. He was consistently exposed to many science competitions within and outside Nigeria, most of which he won and currently defends the prizes. Ofoama is such a brilliant chap that you do not put him in reach of competitions because he would contest and win. He is currently two time defending champion of the highly competitive Archbishop Valerian Okeke Science Competition (AVOSCO), sponsored by the Onitsha Metropolitan See.

Apart from Divine Rays British School’s academic records, it has also clocked impressive disciplinary miles on its journey in grooming thoughtful and highly skilled future managers. It upholds a standard of ethics that frowns on intemperate behavior among its students and deliberateness of jobsworths and indolence on the part of its teaching staff. It is to the credit of the school that it was able to produce in its first year of graduation the highest JAMB scorer in Enugu State. With 347 marks, 13 short of the national overall highest scorer, Ofoama towered like a cedar of Lebanon over and above other competing students in Enugu State. Without prejudice to his pedigree as a brilliant student, his performance in JAMB was not by sudden flight. He was seen and known in the school as dutiful and an exceptional student with no want of determination to abide by the rigours of academic work in the school. Before this time, he was the best graduating student in the class of 2023 from the school. He also made an all A’s in the five subjects he sat for during his Cambridge Examination (IGCSE). Note that the DRBS is in partnership with the Cambridge school and therefore sits for its examinations.

Ofoama who was on scholarship before the UMTE result has received more grants and cash rewards since. His brilliant performance has opened him up to more scholarship grants and offered him great opportunities to study anywhere he pleases. Shortly before he was invited and hosted by his state governor, Barrister Peter Mbah, on account of his performance, he went away from the DRBS with a Lifetime Scholarship award to any level he wished to attain in education. Impressed by his pioneering excellence, Reverend Father Obimma offered him the Lifetime Scholarship in order to enable him read for as long he could. It is important to state here that the Lifetime Scholarship award is institutional and not exclusive to Ofoama as it is available to whoever that attains and or breaks his record.

Governor Mbah who hosted him on August 21, 2023, also promised to assist him in studying any course of his choice. Renewed Hope Initiative of the First Lady, Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu equally awarded him alongside 35 other state champions National Scholarship. The scholarship is a four year program with a yearly N1 million grant and a laptop. More than that, he was also hosted alongside the other state champions on Saturday, August 26, 2023, at the Banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

As Divine Rays British School works hard to ensure there grows no weed of academic indolence to choke its future effort at growth, may the poster child, Ofoama, continue to light the path for his successors to find their way. It is no use stating the fact that success is a function of hard work if properly nurtured to achieve the objective.

Ejike Anyaduba


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