JOHNSON OJO, Ado-Ekiti
It was fond memories at the weekend as the 1988/93 set of 85-year-old Christ’s School, Ado Ekiti celebrated the 25th anniversary of their graduation from the institution, which they described as “the school”.
The old students, clad in the white shirt on naval blue trouser uniform of the school, were all smiles at the school chapel, venue of the event, as activities for the silver jubilee of their graduation unfolded.
These included the 2018 Homecoming, the yearly Chief Olusola Bayode Scholarship awards, and inauguration of renovated four JSS 1 classrooms in the school. Other activities for the three-day epoch-making anniversary were reunion party, novelty match, Diamond Jubilee and Gala and Award night and a thanksgiving service.
Their former principal, Bayode, in whose honour the scholarship award was instituted, said the graduating set was unique as the former students’ admission coincided with the 50th founder’s anniversary of the school.
National Working Committee President of 1988/93 Set, Olumide Abegunde, said that the yearly scholarship schemes under three categories – merit, indigent and Best Students in English Language from JSS1 to SSS3, “is giving back to the society that God used in moulding us over the years. It will assist the beneficiaries in their studies and as well spur others to perform better”.
The Overall Best Students in English Language category of the award, which is a new addition, which was instituted by an ‘old boy’, Mr James Bamisaiye, was received by six students covering JSS1 to SSS3.
It was yet another opportunity for the alumni to renew call for return of the school to its owners, the Anglican Communion, to facilitate development of the school and resuscitation of its ideals, culture and values.
Abegunde, who lamented that standard of the school had fallen over time owing to government’s busy schedule, said the stakeholders – the owners, the Anglican Communion and the alumni- could better manage the school.
He said: “Government has a lot of responsibilities. Education at this formative stage should be taken seriously, hence the need for stakeholders to be in charge. Anglican owns the school. Under our call for return of the school to its original owners, there is an arrangement between the old students and Anglican Communion that we are going to run this school together.
“We will raise funds, pump it to the school and as well be involved in decision-making while Anglican will bring their godly training and godly principle to bear on the school and students. At present, there is infrastructural decay, look at the structures! If you cannot have new ones, the existing ones should be standing,” he said.
Abegunde said that the yearly scholarship schemes under three categories – merit, indigent and Overall Best Students in English Language from JSS1 to SSS3- “is giving back to the society that God used in moulding us over the years. It will assist the beneficiaries in their studies and as well spur others to perform better”.
The Planning Committee Chairman, Sogo Ajongbolo, said the yearly event was product of the old students’ vision “that we want every child in Christ’s School to have the opportunity to succeed in life. We realized that our foundation in life was actually built in Christ’s School, hence our resolve to give back”.
The guest speaker and Vice Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Prof Michael Ajisafe, represented by Prof Adeola Egbebi, who said the school had always been a pacesetter, added: “The entrepreneurship education which Christ’s School started in 1933 is now what the Federal Government is preaching”.
Ajisafe said: “The complete or total man from Christ’s School was not to be a job seeker but a provider. Thus, the school in its early days offered carpentry, block making/bricklaying, sewing, mat weaving knitting, cattle ranching and agriculture,” among others.
For a better society