Paul Obiajunwo Port Harcourt
Class rooms activities were suspended, drums rolled out and students who were in a deep excitement could not hold their emotion when one of their old students, Stephanie Ijeoma Chinda, Miss Rivers State carnival, popularly known as Miss CARNIRIV visited her Alma mater, Community Secondary School, Oroworukwo in Port Harcourt City Local government of Rivers State.
Stephanie, a product of Oroworokwo Community Secondary School, won the 2014 edition of Miss CARNIRIV pageant after a tough competition. CARNIRIV pageant is being organized yearly by Rivers State Tourism Development Agency (RSTDA).
Miss CARNIRIV who arrived the school by 8:30 am with her convoy which was made of staff of RSTDA and members of Nigerian Postal Service said it has become necessary to visit her former school when she realized that millions of students in Nigeria are finding it difficult to address their feelings through letter writing since the advancement of technology in Nigeria.
She said she came to her Alma mater to inaugurate her pet project, Tourism Club in the school and to also give and teach students on how to use postcard. “This is my school, I am proud to be here today, at least to interact with my principals, teachers and my lovely students. Most importantly I am here to formally launch my project in this school which is Tourism Club. I also used that opportunity to address the challenges of letter writing through the help of NIPOST staff.
“You can see that many students were given postcard to address it to whoever they like and to send to the post office. This alone will bring their memory back to the act of letter writing. Many people have forgotten about letter writing because of technological advancement in the country. So this is what my pet project intend to do in this school. And I believe by the grace of God we will change the mindset of many of them to understand the important of letter writing and to reawaken their consciousness on the use of post card.”
Mr. Kehinde Olorunnipa, Head of marketing NIPOST who was at the school to support Miss CARNIRIV’s project described her project as laudable. “This project is a lauded project because it is a way of reawakening the art of letter writing. You can see what we have demonstrated here, which is the act of writing letters to students. We taught them the processes of writing a letter, how to properly address a letter. The vision is to catch them young because these children will be future leaders tomorrow. We want to see how we can contribute to the culture of letter writing. The act of GSM messaging pattern has done more damage to letter writing, all these abbreviation used in GSM text messages has affected the mentality of students.”
The two Principals of the school, Elder Graham Oko-Jaja, of Senior Secondary and Mrs. Dame Likeness Diri, of Universal Basic Education (UBE) said they are glad and full of happiness to be remembered by Miss CARNIRIV who is one of the products of the school. They agreed that her visit to the school will definitely encourage some of the students to work hard in their academic endeavours.
Oko-Jaja said: “What is happening here today is that one of our ex-students who graduated from this school won Miss CARNIRIV 2014. And as part of the activities to mark the end of her tenure she has returned to her school to pay a courtesy visit and launch one of her pet project called Tourism Club. We have a vision in this school and that vision is to be among the three best schools in Rivers State and that has been our focus. We want to say our school is a rebranded school. It is transformed and reformed school. We have been able to carve a niche for ourselves; our identity is a new identity. We always tell our students to aim to be at the top at all times and our very own haven won this competition is also a way of telling our students that they can do better, they can always excel inside and out of school if they work hard and stay focused.”
Dr. Sam Dede, Director General, Rivers State Tourism Development Agency and award winning Nollywood Actor, who was represented at that occasion by his Concept and Event manager, Mr. Oyet UK said the agency will continue to initiate ideas that would revive art culture and make tourism the signpost of development.
Oyet said a lot of people especially the young ones don’t know of post cards, “they’ve not even heard of postcard, so for me, it is a laudable project. The Rivers State Tourism Development Agency and NIPOST are collaborating together to bring back the culture of postcard. We also intend to let the world see the tourism potential in Rivers State, the sites and the wonderful things we have to offer. The only impression people have about Rivers state and the Niger Delta is militancy and we are determined to change that through the post cards culture.”