HOW TENDER YEARS SCHOOL AND OXFORD MANOR COLLEGE (Its sister school) BECAME ABUJA MOST SOUGHT AFTER SCHOOLS FOR CELEBRITY KIDS
When the proprietors of Tender Years Preparatory School (TYS) opened their first site located in Wuse 2 about thirteen years ago, not many people gave them a chance. They had opened the institution in an area that was largely seen as saturated with as much as six other schools that were of international standard.
But anyone who knew what they were bringing to the table at that time would acknowledge that they had novel ideas and passion.
The school set out to be the first school (according to its latin Motto..First Among Equals) in Abuja that would run till dusk. Parents could pick their kids as late as 6-7pm and they would be in safe hands as the school deliberately did this to encourage workers who close late at work to bring their kids. Unlike other schools that closed at 3:00pm or 4:00 pm, many civil servants who had had to rush to pick their kids were offered respite. Not just that the kids were kept in the school till this period, they were kept under hygienic and home setting that the school was more like a second home. Feeding was as many as five or six times depending on their ages.
Then, the school curriculum which is British in total was another selling point. Kids from their tender ages learnt as many as three foreign languages. The learning environment in which kids are not just taught to pass examinations but to understand each subject is something that both parents and kids have also learned to appreciate. Kids are made to know that examinations are important, but so also is internalisation of what you have learnt.
To cap it all, the school ran a calendar that only granted holidays once in a year. They were the pace setter for summer school then. The kids were in the school while all others were on holidays. They enjoyed it. Learning was fun. It was this that encouraged many more parents, especially those who had had inhibitions about their kids dislike for schools to come and give TYS a shot and over time they have not been disappointed.
Ever before the issue of security threat became a major national challenge, the school had taken the security of the children very seriously. Apart from fierce looking Alsatian dogs, and plain clothed security agents, the security around the school is so tight that even ordinarily visitors would feel discouraged to come in when the school is in session.
The successes recorded by the preparatory school as well as primary classes made parents to clamour for a secondary arm of the school which led to the establishment of Oxford Manor College. Despite its newness, it has also continued to attract attention even from embassy staff as well as ambassadors in Abuja who have seen many special attributes of the new College. OMC does not offer large classes at all and it gives the kids the opportunity to express themselves in many ways. With a recording studio for students who love music, kitchen for the young ladies to learn about cooking and football, tennis, tailoring and other facilities for students to express themselves and more than enough computers to go round all the students, the school easily boast of some of the best facilities in the city of Abuja and compares favourably with any secondary school in the country. The home setting has no rivalry. Indeed, kids are inclined to spend more time in school than they would ordinarily have because of some of the facilities which also include a full-fledged library.
According to the school Director of Education, ever before the economic downturn in the country, the school had set out to offer what British Schools offered in England with a view to helping parents conserve resources and bring Britain down to Nigeria.