Mastering The Road Begins With ‘L’ For learner

Mastering The Road Begins With ‘L’ For learner

It starts with an introduction to an automobile’s interior, and then the engine compartment, and the slow ride with the big ‘L’ that seems to tell everyone you own the road.

At a junction in Utako, Abuja, a Toyota Corolla with the words ‘Joy Driving School’ boldly written is parked off the road. David Solomon sits beside a student at the steering wheel, the adventure yet to begin.
After a client fills a form, where personal data, including name, address, and blood group are recorded, and is found without a certain type of disability that may hinder mastering driving challenges, the training begins. But why ones blood group? Solomon quickly points out that the Nigeria Road Safety Corp requires it, and so does the government.

So a client picks a suitable duration for the training. With N10, 000, the deal is a week’s tutoring or N15, 000 for two weeks. An hour per day is what a student gets. Day one includes learning about the interior of a vehicle-the steering wheel, fuel gauge, speedometer, break, and clutch and how the gear works. This introductory stage is followed by understanding the engine compartment. “Here we show the student the location of the water tank, steering oil, radiator and how to service a car,” Solomon says, adding that they advise drivers to check the water content in the radiator daily as well as the oil and also the importance of letting a car run for about five minutes every morning before driving out.

“So the first day is for introduction, the second involves actual driving with a big learner sign to notify drivers on the road, after which one learns in subsequent days how to give the right of way to a driver on the high way when you are coming from a Y-position, learning about traffic lights and so on,” Solomon summarizes.

But is the learning process strictly a manual car affair? Solomon explains that they tutor students using the manual vehicle for four days and dedicate two days for the automatic type. This is important, he says, because most people who know how to drive the manual kind are able to use the automatic, while the reverse is not the case.

“This is simply because a manually driven automobile has the throttle, break, and clutch, whereas automatic has only break and throttle,” he says, adding that ladies prefer automatic.

After all is said and done a student is given a driving manual containing road signs and parts of a car. A learner’s permit also goes with the package to enable the person drive before he or she gets a drivers licence.

For some school owners, money is the driving force behind the business concept, but Enugu-based Barrister Kingsley Ikwumelu, 34, was driven by passion. The rate of accidents across the country filled him with the desire to make an impact. So, aside his legal practice, he set up the Citizens Driving School where 3, 000 drivers have passed through since its inception four years ago.

In the course of training students, Ikwumelu discovered a sad truth: “Some rich Nigerian parents want their under-aged children to learn to drive even when they know very well that the law does not permit them to drive vehicles on Nigerian roads,” he intimates, adding that sometimes after advising such parents to wait until their children come of age, they still pressurised. “But I still insist on what the law says,” he says. Another thing Ikwumelu realized is that about 40 per cent of Nigerian road users are ignorant of road signs.

One of his students, Mrs. Chinenye Ezeibekwe has enrolled for a period of one month and is already in her third week. So what has she learnt so far? “I have learnt what is called steering control, maintaining one-lane, how to avoid panic, how to make U-turn, road-control and others,” she says.

Driving, like swimming, can come handy when there is need to help another. This was the motivation for Mr. Icheen Benjamin, 25, who was challenged during an emergency when he needed to drive a wounded victim of an auto crash to hospital. “I intend to have a car as soon as possible. I need to master driving before then,” he says. And so far he has had an exciting experience. How soon he completes the training will depend on how fast he perfects the skill.

Like Ikwumelu, 80-year-old Kunle Sobodu, owner of Lagos’ Sobodu Memorial Driving Centre has given much of himself to his clients over the years. A fact that gladdens his heart is the number of students he has tutored over the years. “Now they are masters at the wheel,” he explains, adding that they had continually showered him with commendations. Like a doctor and patient relationship, Sobodu’s clients maintain contact with him and shower him with gifts.

Sobodu, who is against what he called ‘backdoor tutorials’ established the driving centre in 1969 after completing his auto technical studies where he came out with flying colours. Seated in his small office at Shiro Street, Jibowu, he attends to many customers. Parked, is his old Volkswagen Beetle used for tutoring students. “This will go a long way in reducing the frequency of road accidents, as well as check the excesses of unqualified drivers in the country,” he says, adding that although he may not have made stupendous wealth from the driving school, but finds satisfaction in the fact that his company is among quality and accredited auto training schools in the country.

He stressed that the secret of surviving the harsh business environment of auto driving school lies in the ability of the owners or proprietors to be well schooled in auto engineering and repair.

“If you don’t know much about auto repair, you will be short-changed by manpower, thereby making it difficult to survive the economic environment of the auto training school,’’                                                         he explains, adding that he was challenged by limited capital to grow his business to enviable heights.
across the country filled him with the desire to make an impact. So, aside his legal practice, he set up the Citizens

Driving School where 3, 000 drivers have passed through since its inception four years ago.
In the course of training students, Ikwumelu discovered a sad truth: “Some rich Nigerian parents want their under-aged children to learn to drive even when they know very well that the law does not permit them to drive vehicles on Nigerian roads,” he intimates, adding that sometimes after advising such parents to wait until their children come of age, they still pressurised. “But I still insist on what the law says,” he says. Another thing Ikwumelu realized is that about 40 per cent of Nigerian road users are ignorant of road signs.

One of his students, Mrs. Chinenye Ezeibekwe has enrolled for a period of one month and is already in her third week. So what has she learnt so far? “I have learnt what is called steering control, maintaining one-lane, how to avoid panic, how to make U-turn, road-control and others,” she says.

Driving, like swimming, can come handy when there is need to help another. This was the motivation for Mr. Icheen Benjamin, 25, who was challenged during an emergency when he needed to drive a wounded victim of an auto crash to hospital. “I intend to have a car as soon as possible. I need to master driving before then,” he says. And so far he has had an exciting experience. How soon he completes the training will depend on how fast he perfects the skill.

Like Ikwumelu, 80-year-old Kunle Sobodu, owner of Lagos’ Sobodu Memorial Driving Centre has given much of himself to his clients over the years. A fact that gladdens his heart is the number of students he has tutored over the years. “Now they are masters at the wheel,” he explains, adding that they had continually showered him with commendations. Like a doctor and patient relationship, Sobodu’s clients maintain contact with him and shower him with gifts.

Sobodu, who is against what he called ‘backdoor tutorials’ established the driving centre in 1969 after completing his auto technical studies where he came out with flying colours. Seated in his small office at Shiro Street, Jibowu, he attends to many customers. Parked, is his old Volkswagen Beetle used for tutoring students. “This will go a long way in reducing the frequency of road accidents, as well as check the excesses of unqualified drivers in the country,” he says, adding that although he may not have made stupendous wealth from the driving school, but finds satisfaction in the fact that his company is among quality and accredited auto training schools in the country.

He stressed that the secret of surviving the harsh business environment of auto driving school lies in the ability of the owners or proprietors to be well schooled in auto engineering and repair.

“If you don’t know much about auto repair, you will be short-changed by manpower, thereby making it difficult to survive the economic environment of the auto training school,’’ he explains, adding that he was challenged by limited capital to grow his business to enviable heights.

 

 

Source: Daily Trust Nigeria

Facebook Comments

Login

Forgot your password?

Login Create an account

Register Login