Old students urge Osun govt to return mission schools to prevent poor running of education sector
Alumni Association of St.John’s Grammar School, Oke-Atan, Ile-Ife, Osun state, has urged Osun state government to consider returning schools taken over from the missionaries and other private owners back to them, to solve some of the challenges facing education sector.
St. John’s Grammar School, Ile-Ife, founded in 1962 as a boys’ school by a Catholic Church priest, Reverend Father Fabian Cloutier, has produced several successful men and national figures in the Nigerian society like Publisher of Ovation Magazine, Dele Momodu.
Others include Gbenga Adefaye, Managing Director of Vanguard Newspapers and former President Nigerian Guild of Editors; Dele Agekameh, a renowned journalist; Senator Iyiola Omisore; Wale Oladipo, Former National Secretary of PDP; Kehinde Bamigbetan two term Chairman of Ejigbo LCDA in Lagos and currently a Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor, and a host of others.
The old students, who passed through the school between 1977 and 1981, disclosed this during the handover of some renovated blocks of classrooms and a symposium themed: “Renaissance of Quality Education: Stakeholders’ Perspectives”.
While delivering his paper, an old student of the school, Olatunde Arayela, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), frowned at the level of indiscipline among present day students, lamenting that discipline which used to be the core values of learning in their time has been regrettably eroded.
Arayela expressed delight at the quality of personalities earlier produced by the school especially the 1977/1981 set and attributed success stories of these old students to the painstaking quality education given to them by the Catholic missionary, Reverend Father Fabian Cloutier, who he said instilled morality, values and diligence in the then students.
“What we are today is as a result of what we learned here under Rev. Fr. Fabian Cloutier of blessed memory who inculcated morals, values and diligence in us.”
“I’m proud today because our set of 1977-1981 has produced distinguished people who have reach the zenith of their professions and are still moving upwards,” Professor Arayela said.
Canvassing for return of the missionary schools to their original owners, Chairman 1976-1981 set of St. John’s Grammar School, Ile-Ife, Siyanbola Oladapo; Association’s Secretary, Segun Omoworare and Kehinde Bamigbetan, Special Adviser on Communication to Lagos State Governor, all acknowledged the enormity of government’s responsibilities, saying the schools, if returned to the founders, will enjoy better management and proper monitoring from them while government can face other sectors that need its attention.
“What we are doing here is to give back to the society. We are doing this to challenge other alumni to have it at the back of their mind that it is good to give back to their Alma-Mata.
“What we met here was total abysmal as a boys school has turned to a mixed school. The school field which has produced several International athletes and footballer like Emmanuel Okorie has turned to a social party stage.”
We appreciate the efforts of government to make education affordable and accessible but it is high time they allow missionaries to take over the school,” they averred.
BOLA BAMIGBOLA, Osogbo
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