CEM ANNOUNCER, EDUCATION | Football Matches between St John’s College Fugar and St Peter’s Grammar School Agenebode were events we all looked forward to every academic year. These schools; St John’s College Fugar, St Peter Grammar School Agenebode, St Angela’s Uzairue, Our Lady of Fatima, Auchi and others were the glory of our youthful years and the pride of both parents and teachers. The mentioning of these names in inter-house sports by commentators were recalled in our memories weeks after each event.
St John’s College Fugar was a prestigious institution that exemplified excellence in academic and social performance and a good moral standard like few other ones. It was an institution that was among the top choices; a place we looked forward to be and whose uniform we yearned to wear.
Old boys of the school that have become successful in their different areas of lives, no doubt, can trace their successes to the sound academic and moral training they received from the school. It is for this reason they have also decided to lend a rescuing hand to save their alma mater from total decay.
Following the continuous neglect of the college by the government, it has become dilapidated with none of the facilities in good shape. The school is truly a shadow of itself. “The problems in our alma mata are diverse and varied; dilapidated classrooms, dilapidated hostels, dilapidated principal’s quarter and staff quarters, empty library, bushy school compound, very bad conveniences, laboratories in very bad shape…”; the Old Boys wrote in one of their briefs about the school.
Led by the National President, Mr Ignatius Aigbokhaode, the Old Boys under the auspices of Saint John’s College Old Boys Association (SJCOBA) has continued their rescuing effort with a plan to raise a N100 million project fund in their forth coming reunion scheduled to hold from 17th – 19th of November, 2023.
To have a full grasp of the need of the fund, the old boys explain; “Currently, we have only 1 Government employed teaching staff of the school. The 6 other teaching and about 5 none teaching staff are being paid by we (SJCOBA) and the Fugar Progressive Union.
“The current student population is about 150 students, with over 50 of them new students that came last month – September 2023. (Though we have witnessed steady growth in student population from 22 students in 2018 to the current over 150 students). Suffice to mention here that this growth in student’s enrollment is due to our intervention under the ‘Project Dry Bones shall rise again’ fund raising.
“All efforts to make the government address this appalling situation have so far failed. Same applies with attempts to have the school handed over to the previous owners – the Catholic Church.”
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They summarized the major problems of the school as follows: Decaying and/ or absence of required learning facilities, Poor hostel accommodation / facilities, Lack of qualified teaching staff and Lack of funding by the government.
To keep the school afloat, the Old Boys have said they need to as a matter of urgency take on the following projects:
Qualified teachers need to be employed and be paid meaningful wage while classrooms, laboratories, staff room, staff quarters and hostels for students need to be massively renovated.
The Old Boys want to buy a small tractor and slasher for grass cutting, build an Assembly Hall as open-field Assembly is no longer fashionable and light up the entire school compound using solar technology.
SJCOBA is thus appealing to their friends and associates to support them to raise N100m during the proposed reunion to enable them sustain and maintain the school pending when they can get government to be alive to its responsibilities.