Formal education in Olido, Enugu Ezike
Being The Text Of An Address Delivered By Mr. Gabriel S. Ugwuanyi, On The Occasion Of The Inauguration Of The Olido Association Of Undergraduates & Graduated.
It is an honour to deliver a lecture at this period of the inauguration of this association. This, however, is a disquieting honor to me due to the circumstances I am contending with. I shall not in any case reject the honour.
I was chosen to deliver this inaugural lecture as I was told because I am the first university Graduate from olido. Because of this reason, I have chosen to lecture on education. My topic then is “Formal Education in Olido: A challenge to the youths”. In this context, I mean, by Formal Education in Olido, the growth of schools and schooling in Olido.
Formal Education has been defined by Prof. Okafor, . He says that Education [formal] is “the consciously planned and systematically applied formal training carried on through various social agencies of education especially the school". In our case, the school agency was the school run by the Roman Catholic Mission (RCM). Through oral interviews, I found out that formal schooling started first in this area at Amube in “Ezogwa” of Chief Ayogu Ede. The first Olido pupils to go there for schooling were Messrs James Ugwu and Jerome Ugwu in 1930 among others. Their teacher was Mr. Gabriel Ngwoke from Leja.
The Church preceded the school at Olido. The Church started in 1933 while the school started in 1934. The establishment of these institutions resulted from a misunderstanding at the school at Amube where pupils from Olido broke away to have their own. They were joined by Messrs Peter Ugwu and Jerome Ugwu in 1930 among others. Their teacher was Mr. Gabriel Ngwoke from Leja.
The Church preceded the school at Olido. The church started in 1933 while the school started in 1934. the establishment of these institutions resulted from a misunderstanding at the school at Amube where pupils from Olido broke away to have their own. They were joined by Messrs Peter Ugwu and Dominic Idoko who returned from Iheaka in 1934 where they were schooling.
The pioneers of the school in 1934 were: Jerome Ugwu, James Ugwu, Aaron (Ayogu) Iyida, Itodo Nwaome, Simon (Ayogu) Eke, (Abugu Ogbuigbo *Basil Eze, Ben Ezocha etc.
The school operated in “Ulo Echegebo” at Ofuekpa. “Ekwe” was used as the bell. This was 91 years after the establishment of the first primary school in Nigeria in 1834, Adesina, 1977.
Our first Secondary School started this year, 1992. That is, 58 years, from the start of the primary school in Olido in 1934. That, also is 133 years after the establishment of the first secondary school in Nigeria in 1859 AD by the Church Missionary Society (CMS), Adesina (1977). This is 40 years after STC Nsukka established in 1950 as a secondary school, the first college in Nsukka Zone.
By the early 1940s, the position of the school has changed to the present site. Up to 1950 classes were: ABC, Prima, Infant, Standards 1 and 2 were available at Amufie while standards 3,4,5,6 were available only at Ogrute for the Catholics. For the Protestants, these high classes were available at St. Luke’s Amufie. Those who finished their infant class at Olido proceeded to St. Michaels School Amufie for standards 1 and 2 and thence to St. Mary’s Ogrute. This was always the case because all pupils from Olido were Catholics.
The first time that an Olido son entered a secondary school was in 1956. History was made. All hailed the entry. It was historic because the man, Adma Nwa Ugwuanyi; who sent his second son, Gabriel Ugwuanyi (Idirisu Ugwuanyi) was Muslim.
He, under normal circumstances should channel his children towards Koranic Studies. He said he sent his first son, Amedu (Ugwu Adama to study the Korean his (Adama’s) religious book while his second son could be sent to Oyibo Study. There were gists to the lone students from many quarters, in cash and kind.
Olido could get a student who attended Sunday service and after service people had to have a look at the “small boy” who is a COLLEGE. The ball was set rolling. An example has been set. Those who came up to standard 6 and passed an entrance to a college entered. Those who followed suit were Messrs. Fide Ojobo who went to T.T.C, Sylvester (Ali) Onoima Iyida, and Ignatius Apeh. By the 1960’s entry into a secondary school was not a novelty but each family wanted to have a student there. That wanted to have a student there. That want continued until today and will continue.
After the novelty of secondary school entry, Mr. Gabriel S. Ugwuanyi in 1961 raised education into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka to read Business Administration in June 1961. olido rejoiced because their son has become the third person in Enugu Ezike to enter the university. The first was Dr. Johnson Odo Eze, the second was Mr. Isaac Nduka Eya. Entry into the university has become news. The whole of Umu Itodo hailed the entry and contributed towards the education of their son. Villagers were levied one shilling each. Not all the villages contributed. Olido collected £30, Amufie £18, Amachalla £15 before the plan collapsed. A taskforce was set up to collect the one shilling per head. The relevance of this point is that people worked together as one helping the other. Messrs James Ugwu, Jerome Ugwu (from Olido), Chief Henry O. Eya (Amufie) etc, were members of the task force to see the university of Nigeria, Nsukka. He was received by the whole Olido. He was given a cow among iother things and public joint celebrations.
Those who followed suit into the secondary school arena continued into the university. In 1974, Messrs Onoima Iyida, Fidelis U. Ojobo, entered the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and in 1977 they increased the number of Olido Graduates to three. In 1978, Mr. Ignatius Apeh brought the number up to four.
I remind us that first female Olido indigene to enter the post primary school is Mrs. Bridget M. Iyida (1977). She is still the first female graduate (1989). This 1992 we can boast of three female graduates.
Effects of the development
The scramble for education has affected social life in Olido. Just as Ezeocha (1985, 1990) states that the community absorbed the influence produced by the school. There is no family in Olido that is not an “Oyibo” family.
There is at least one literate member in every family and to the extent the family a family has a number of literates, to that extent the family is socially elevated. Health, wealth have consistently improves.
Most of the successful businessmen and how women today in Olido handled the state Christianity has grown (not minding the fallen or falling members).
We can hold our head high anywhere, in 1974; Olido primary school headed by Nze Emmanuel O. Nweze won a radio set (first prize) for being the most disciplined and the neatest primary school in the old Anambra State of Nigeria.
We have very many teachers in the primary and secondary schools. We have lecturers in tertiary institutions in various fields. We have graduate (Workers) in Business, Law, the Press, Radio, Administration like WAEC), etc. this is a good diversification and we need it to go further. Let one study and work where one is gifted.
Take for granted that all children from Olido must pass elementary six. At least 90% of all Olido children, male and female, should benefit from secondary education.
Olido should, all alone, feed her secondary school with students not depending on catchments areas. Olido should be producing an average of five graduates of tertiary institutions every year. There should be very cordial relationship between: Graduates and undergraduates, among graduates, among non-graduates between graduates and illiterates. Where and when there is discord, mutual suspicion, deceit, running down etc, the village will slide back as was the case between 1980 and 1990. For the positive relationships and qualities to exist is not easy. It is a task, a challenge I throw to you, the youths. Please accept the challenge, mobilize us.
1. Chief H. O. Eya
2. Nze Jerome Ugwu
3. Mr. Aaron (Ayogu) Iyida
4. Mkpozi Ugwu Nwape Ezocha
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