Omolola Fadare, 21, teaches in a primary school established by her father in Waninkin, a remote village in Osun State. She obtained her National Certificate in Education from the Osun State College of Education, Ilesa. She hopes to read Law at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife. In this interview, this young woman tells more about herself.
Can you tell us about your background?
I am the first in a family of three children. I attended Origbo Anglican Grammar School after which I proceeded to Osun State College of Education, Ilesa. My father is the proprietor of a school.
What led you into teaching?
I must confess that I don’t like teaching. This is because my childhood dream is to be a judge. But, when I finished secondary school, I could not secure admission the same year into the university to study Law. The following year, my parents encouraged me to take up a career in education. I consented because I wanted to take up my father’s school as the first child of the family.
How do you feel teaching in a village?
I never thought that, one day, I will be in the village teaching. But, when I started, the interest started growing and I can say that I love teaching in villages because it has afforded me the opportunity to bring little children up and to inspire confidence in them that they can also make it in life like their counterparts in the cities.
What can you say about being a teacher at a young age of 21?
Well, I believe everybody is a teacher, and age is not a factor here. But, then, I must say it is a challenge for me and I also believe it is my destiny. When you find yourself excelling in what you naturally don't like to do, it means you have found your destiny.
What are the challenges of being a teacher in a village like this?
When I started, people looked down on me but, after a period, they came to respect me. I remember when I did my Teaching Practice in 2009. Then, I was 17. The students in the secondary school where I did the practice would not even greet me because they felt I was too young to be their teacher. But, as time went by, they saw the knowledge of God in me and nobody told them to accord me some respect.
What inspires you?
My strongest motivation is the passion I have for these children and also for my father’s vision, which I believe must not die.
What does the structure of your father's school look like?
We have kindergarten, nursery and primary classes. We have a few teachers due to the fact that many of them do not want to stay longer because they are not able to adapt to the rural life. I am the sole administrator of the school and I also teach the secondary school pupils.
Since the inception of the school in 1995, has there been any student who has excelled?
Yes. I am an example [smiles]. We have ex-students who are now doing fine in their higher institutions. One of such person is Sukurat Suleiman, who finished in 2002 and is now a university student.
Do you have any problem with the villagers?
If there is anything, it is ignorance. Most of the people living here don't allow their children to further their education after primary school. They always complain that nobody will look after their cocoa farm. This has hindered the development I envision for the college.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I see myself becoming a judge. This has been my dream. I also want to lecture so that my impact can spread to more people in the village and beyond.