Titi Omodolapo Oduseso is the Chief Executive Officer of RoyalBridge International Company Ltd, and Gapbridge Private School Lagos. She is a well-rounded and multi-skilled individual with broad exposure and experience in teaching, training and administration. Her 25-year work experience has seen her metamorphose from being a classroom teacher in different educational institutions to being the principal of schools and touching a generation of smart, intuitive and value focused children, who are making waves worldwide and developing their lives careers.

In a bid to distinguish herself in her chosen career, she has carefully honed her skills through relevant professional training. Having gathered much-needed experiences through serving and working in the best private schools, both in Lagos and Abuja, she felt urged to start her educational consulting firm, which gave birth to RoyalBridge International Limited, an ambitious educational consultancy firm that is value focused and excellence driven with a vision to maintain international best practices in the educational sector, while equipping schools with the needed up-to-date trainings, aimed at bridging the existing gap in Nigeria’s educational sector.

Titi also has a wealth of experience in the undertaking of the Cambridge International Examination (CIE). She has conducted IGCSE English Second Language oral assessment examinations for British Council centre and for notable schools in and outside Lagos for 16 years. She is involved in IGCSE training for teachers in schools that offer the English National curriculum within and outside Lagos.

Driven by the passion to succeed and the need to invest in tomorrow’s leaders by giving students a well rounded educational training and exposure, she took on the responsibility of facilitating student’ placement in colleges and universities in the UK, US and Canada among others.

Periodically, she takes students for educational tours abroad, especially during the Easter and summer holidays. The tours have become the students’ and parent’s delight due to the well-planned nature of the trips.

On why schools should provide students with more trips, she says, “First, because it gives students a little free time from all the hard work they do in school all year long. Undertaking field trips enable them learn about the outside world practically and not theoretically through learning about them from textbooks and the Internet. This generation is filled with children and students, who are glued to their phones, ipods, laptops and TV sets. Whatever happened to children running around to play ball and having fun in the sun? Field trips give an opportunity for kids to move around during school hours, instead of being stuck in classrooms all day.”

As a mother, counselor, mentor, public speaker, administrator and trainer. Titi’s achievements lies in her ability to touch lives through her life and work, a feat she considers a blessing and for which she is grateful. With hindsight, she sees her early days in the teaching profession, while serving as a Youth Corps member at the Ikeja Air force base, as preparation because enthusiastic officers found her classes too irresistible to miss.

At first, she said she was embarrassed to be so teased by respectable and responsible officer students, not knowing they truly enjoyed her English subject. But the reality soon dawned on her; when the authorities took her on as a part-time English teacher long after service. Prior to the Foundation, she has a stint in event decoration, which has stayed with her. Although she is neck-deep in educational activities and programmes, she hopes to brush up and take on her old passion someday soon, expecially now that her kids are all grown and pursuing their own careers.

Titi is a teacher per excellence and she is proud to be a teacher for all the good reasons in the world, as she sees the profession as her number one calling. She simply loves teaching others regardless of whether they are kids, teenagers or adult. This is because teaching comes to her naturally. She has taught many children in a variety of settings and enjoyed doing so. Many of these, she says, have moved on in life to become people to reckon with in society. “I have always had a special liking for imparting knowledge, good morals and language development. This has helped me realize my calling and passion for working with children, teachers, as well as parents. I enjoy having kids around me. I also love traveling, making friends and exploring opportunities that can improve people’s lives and careers.”

The name ‘Gapbridge’ means bringing the gaps between the primary and secondary school, secondary and higher institutions. It is all about giving students what they need to enable them cross the academic bridge required for the next stage of their studies. Hence, the vision was conceived to give support to the challenges students face in their studies without charging anything extra. The school uses both the British and the Nigeria Curricula, as she had worked in public schools, where the Nigeria curriculum is being used, as well as many Lagos elite schools, where British Curriculum is used.

“British curriculum gives a world-class education. The curriculum ensures that students do not engage in exam malpractices and that there are no special centers to favour candidates, no cramming for students, as they are rather encouraged to read, understand and apply themselves to examination questions.”

Give the keen competition in the educational sector; one of the things that have helped her organization carve niche for itself outside its rich curriculum is the fact that is has good track records of past examinations with success stories. With a small student population in the classrooms, teachers serve as mentors to monitor students, while giving extra hands to weak students at no cost. “Our students need no lesson teachers at home after school hours. Instead, we encourage them to get involved in extra curriculum activities such as table tennis, badminton, football, basketball, swimming and educative indoor board games.

“As far as we are concerned, giving the child total education is a task that must be achieved. Hence, the school takes pride in the fact that quality time is given to learning outside the classroom. Every term, we have well-organized local excursion programme for all our students, which is part of our school fees. Over the years, the fun-filled excursion programme has helped in educating and exposing our children to many important local tourist sites. Apart from the fun of it, such programmes have also helped the discover the different peoples of the world, as well as their rich cultures and heritage,” she says.

She is a firm believer in the total development of the young, especially the girl child, be it educationally, socio-culturally, psychologically, emotionally intellectually and spiritually. This is mainly because life itself has taught her to believe in the potential of young people, who are the hope of any nation. With a smile laced with so much confidence, she said. “Life has taught me to believe in myself and to be proud of who I am. It has also taught me to believe in others and that settles it. Teachers have a lot to do with how their students turn out. We must help in building a good self-image for the kids under our tutelage. I believe in my God’s given abilities and nobody can intimidate me, because I know who I am. Our children also need to know this. They must believe that they can pass their exams without compromising standards. This is the confidence that our children need to lead a dignified life and pass their exams. Cheating is not the solution, rather, it is hard work and constant studying.”

Titi has a beautiful dream, which is also her inspiration. “It represents the dream of every young Nigerian child, particularly that of the girl child and all those that dare to be different by living the dignified life. My dream is to see Nigeria’s educational system flourish. To see young Nigerians breaking out of the doldrums of academic quagmire and limitations, while seeking to develop themselves through personal development, hard work and determination to become strong, knowledgeable men and women. “This is achievable if our children will work hard. Indeed, it is possible if the youths start believing in themselves and taking pride in engaging in worthwhile endeavors. Success is not determined by how much you have in your bank account, but the impact you are making in your generation. And I believe that our youths have all it takes to realize their dream.”

She blames parents and teachers for the 2014 WAEC results, which showed a high percentage of failure. According to her, parents are no longer supervising, guiding and monitoring their kids well, while teachers do not also give teaching the commitment and seriousness that it truly deserves. “Most of the children are busy surfing the net, pinging, downloading this and that and connecting on social media 24 hours a week instead of reading their books and studying for exams. Unless parents begin to pay more attention to their kids and guide them aright, while teachers dedicatedly passing on knowledge as required despite their challenges, the problem will persist. We must all do our bit, then, there will be a change for the better.

“Technology is advancing. A teen’s vision is broadening and parents should allow their kids to take decisions themselves, but they should guide them in making a choice. Life is not about getting a job and earning money. It about passion, which builds up confidence in a student. Forcing a child to do science instead of studying law is like making a dog eat vegetables or feeding your cat kolanut instead of milk,” she says.

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