I had numerous teachers in school that always taught about decency, organization and so many good characteristics to put on as students but they failed to put up those characteristics they preached about. I am sure of a woman; a woman I would always talk about wherever and whenever I find myself in a position to do so. She inspired me a lot and I have learnt so much from her.
She took the school in Economics and Financial Accounting; she was the only teacher that practiced what she preached about from beginning to the end. She told us to always endeavor to keep to time whenever we had her subject. If the time scheduled for her to take the class on Economics is at 9:00am, she is usually in the class before the time. About the submission of our assignment, we are usually given a time limit on when to pass it. If she fixed 8:30am for the submission, that is just the time.
Most teachers were lazy about giving assignments and marking them, but hers was different, if we are given an assignment by her in class, we always endeavor to do it because we were so sure she would ask for it and score it. Unlike other teachers, she knew the number of assignments she would give to students in a particular term and how she would score them. Your note books must be very tidy because she also awards mark to that. Everyone’s best note was their Economics note; it was so big because she always told us to keep adding them up.
After leaving secondary school, I could easily do away with my other note books but that of my Economics, I kept it in my book shelf. She never engaged in any form of Examination Malpractice.
Meet Mrs. Okeke Stella Ehis; a Christian and an indigene of Enugu State with a disciplined character. She had her Primary Education at Urumi Primary School Enugu State and Market road Primary school, Enugu state. She went ahead for her Secondary Education at Girls High School Awkunanaw, Enugu State; where she graduated as the Best Student. Furthermore, she bagged her Bsc. Accountancy at the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus (UNEC). Presently, she is doing her Msc. in Accountancy at the same university.
Read up what she said during the interview;
Who influenced you in having a disciplined character? It all started from my dad; he was a disciplinarian. The way he will address you, you will know that you are not supposed to do nonsense with him because he will beat the hell out of you. I was his bestfriend; he so much loved me as the first daughter so he wanted the best from me.
Starting school as a little girl then, coming back at the end of the term with the first position multiplied the love. So, I will say that it was my dad that actually motivated me to be disciplined.
The motivation was built upon by the time I got to Junior Secondary School (JSS3), when I gave my life to Christ and became born again. I began to read the scriptures and hear about other people who had made it in life. I discovered that to be disciplined will help me to achieve my goal and it will help me to be focused. That was what inspired me to say Yes! This way I am going to give my entire life to be disciplined.
Ever since when I made the decision, I have been building on it. It helped me because when you look at others, your friends, and your mates in the same class you will see the difference. Even as a junior student then, people thought that studying was just about going to school and lesson (then, what was reigning in Enugu was Ogba lesson; once you ask somebody the lesson he attends, he will shout – Ogba lesson) but at the end of the day, do they discipline themselves to be the best.
I never attended lesson, I disciplined myself to ensure that the little time at my disposal, I will go to school and go to the state library to study and this payed off because I kept the goal of being First always in the class. So, when I tested and discovered that discipline is indeed profitable, I decided that I will never give up.
Was there any particular church or program that inspired you towards your quest to discipline?
Well, this was what actually happened; I grew up to meet my parents not going to church, but as a little girl, there was this zeal right from when I was in the village to always go to church. That desire continued until we went to Benin State, I found a family that was going to the Church of God Mission, I joined them, while going I always took my siblings along. My parents were not going with me and they were not disturbing me. I was very committed and I even joined their children choir, where we usually go on evangelism. The zeal and desire for the things of God was strong in me but I couldn’t say I was born again.
So, when we came down to Enugu State, I tried to locate that church but I couldn’t find it. But, again that love of God spurred me to join a scripturer, who always preaches in my area.
So, on the particular day that I gave my life to Christ, I was passing through the railway to Ogbete Market, I heard some people clapping and singing, there was no signboard so I didn’t know the church it was, but I said to myself that the way these people are singing, they are singing like the Church of God Mission people, that it could be a gospel church. So, my spirit spurred me up to go there on Sunday and worship with them. Hence, on that fateful Sunday, I decided and told my parents that I was going to Church.
When I got there, I heard the Gospel, not as if I have not heard it before but I believe God worked it out that way. I got convinced within me that I have been a sinner all a while even though I have been going to Church, so I surrendered my life to Christ.
It was during the announcement that I discovered that the place was Deeper Life Bible Church. Thus, by Gods grace, since I gave my life to God there, I have continued to be with them, that’s where I worship presently.
Reason you have continued to stay Disciplined
The major reason is that it is profitable. The reason why I emphasize on the fact that it is profitable is because, I checked my life, when I got into JSS1, because of the influence of friends, I discovered that sometimes in my JSS1- JSS2, I had to switch my First position with Second or Third and this was because I was mingling with friends, I didn’t keep that strict discipline I was used to.
Immediately I gave my life to Christ in JSS3, with the teaching of the word of God to be disciplined in all ramifications. I made up my mind that even in examination, studying, that I wouldn’t go back to my old ways. And when I did, I didn’t have to switch my position again throughout my stay in Secondary School, even though I didn’t have the opportunity to go to the best of lessons, I graduated as the best student.
Going to the University, when you look at the university world, it is another world on its own. Remembering that discipline, I lived a triangular life, if I am not in the Lecture hall, I am at my hostel and if I am not there then I am at the Fellowship. I didn’t have time for parties and all these other things.
I told my God that in my university, I will never have Carry over, and because of the disciplined life and the Grace of God, I never had carry over. I didn’t need to know the offices of my lecturers; all I owe them was to attend their lectures, if I have money I will buy the textbooks and go and do my studies. Sometimes, I may need to go for TDB (Till Day Break) because I knew what I wanted and to the Glory of God when we graduated, the Lord helped me, I didn’t have any problem with my result, and my Second Class Upper was a clean one.
It is the principle that guides my life, not just academically, spiritually and otherwise.
Reason you never participated in assisting students for Exam Malpractice during WAEC and NECO?
Like I said, my own definition of discipline implies doing the right thing the right way with all the integrity and determination it takes. In order words, they call it helping the students but I call it destroying the students.
If you remember, as a disciplined teacher, if possible, I would have broken the heads of my student to put the knowledge in there while teaching. I tell people that it is not actually the Salary that makes a person put the best in his/her job but the determination such person has. I always tried to ensure that I gave the best because I believe that “whatever your hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might”.
Then, coming to the examination hall, it my desire to see them bring out those things that I have putten in them. So, writing for them again in the name of help is nothing but destroying the students because they will not be able to stand anywhere to defend it. So, I never wrote to assist them.
In fact when I came to that school and discovered that it was being done, I kept on preaching the Gospel to the principal and other teachers that what we were doing was destroying these students and our own labour.
Back then during my WAEC, I made 7 A’s and 2 C’s. People make 9 A’s then, so if I can do that, every other student should be able to do the same. So why will you teach a student and also write for a student? What are you trying to achieve?
There is no way you can boldly say as a teacher that you have done your work if your students cannot reproduce what you have put into them. But, nobody gave hid to what I was saying.
Since, I have made up my mind by the Grace of God, not to compromise my faith and my discipline; I decided not to join them.
There were threats of been dismissed, but I said that can be the best that can happen but perhaps it pleases the Lord that I was never dismissed.
Each time WAEC examination was on, I was always cry and bleed in my heart. It was just because I was a teacher and I cannot say that they should not post me to invigilate, if not I will never have attended.
So you were still able to stand on your grounds even when it was a private school?
That it is a private school doesn’t mean that it should negate the principles of teaching. The principle of teaching is that, you teach and your students are meant to be examined to be able to know if they have gotten what you thought them.
It is the corruption in the land which has eaten deep into the fabrics of education and integrity has been nailed to the cross and I am not ready to be a part of it and I will never do it.
I believe that, if a person study’s hard, it helps him to conquer some other aspects of life challenges. So that when you keep growing, if you meet other challenges, you tell yourself that if I could conquer this challenge of WAEC, nothing can make me not to conquer this other one.
But, if you have never faced any tough time in your life, everything is been done for you, at a particular time you will just discover that you will become hopeless.
What is your advice to other Nigerians?
My advice is that there are a lot of benefits in being disciplined. And, when you know that, you can’t sell it for anything, not even the influence of friends, colleagues and not even for money.
Because things are so difficult, you now discover that people sell their integrity, truth, and discipline for money. But, I advice people, both young and old not to give up their integrity for anything.
Finally, it pays to be born again, not just being a Church goer, when you are born again and stick to the tenets of the scriptures, it will help you to achieve whatsoever you want to achieve in life.
Because, I have studied the bible and I discovered that everything in the Bible is true and if someone wants to achieve excellence in life. Just take it to the scriptures, you will achieve that excellence.
Situation can influence or deprive you, but if you are truly born again, nothing moves you. Knowing that a greater one is there to judge you
According to Bible: There is a power that enables one to live the life you desire. You realize that the things you do before, you do them no longer and you begin to live in the newness of Christ.