Ifakala Community Secondary School
By A.O. Ndunagum
IFAKALA COMMUNITY SECONDARY SCHOOL was the brain child of Ifakala central Union , now Ifakala Town Union. The union from inception was development oriented and put the welfare of her citizens top on the list. For this reason when the Union saw the need for the community to own a secondary school, she quickly mobilized the community and worked towards achieving this noble objective. In line with the above at a general meeting of the house in august 1977 under Eze C.E. Ahaneku of the blessed memory, voluntary donations and pledges were made by all Ifakala sons present at the meeting for work to start on the secondary school.
First among the donors was late Nze Clement Ekeozor who donated the sum of Ten Naira (N10.00) At the end of that gathering, the sum of N1,898.50 was collected while a committee to organize the launching better was set up. At the launching, sons and daughters and wives donated generously and pledged their full support for the execution of the project.
Not many people remembered that the Catholic church under the catholic supervisor of Schools has secured a large portion of land for the same purpose. This plan of theirs was aborted by the civil war in the country.
After some weeks of consultations with the church Authorities and land owners (Umuanuo Village) work started at the chosen and approved site. By august the following year the Building committee under Nze S.I.C. Oguamanam has set up most of the structures – the assembly Hall, a five Classrooms block, the Twin dormitory for the boarders converted to the administrative block and science Laboratory. The rest of the buildings came yup at subsequent periods – the three-in-one Science Laboratory and Technical Workshop, the principal Quarters and Teachers’ Quarters. Notably among these also was the five classroom block built by Ifakala Central Union, Port Harcourt Branch. It is worthy to note that the offices and quarters were fully equipped by the Union.
The approval for the school was announced in November 1979. The dream became a reality with the arrival of Mr. D.O Arungwa, an Educationist from Ngwa on December 31st, 1979 as the first principal. He was a tenant of Nze S.I.C. Oguamanam till the Principal’s quarters was completed.
On assumption of duty on 2nd January, 1980 about forty six students registered but when the school took off formally only twenty reported. It takes a crew to make a successful landing. Mr. Arungwa did not work alone. The pioneer Teachers included Mr. Linus Nwaopara, VPand master in charge of Agriculture and Igbo. Mr. P.C. Ekeoma 0 Bursar/Librarian and master in charge of English Language and Literature in English. Late Mr. Michael Nwaiwu – Games Master/form Master and master in charge of Economics and Commerce. Mr. J.I. Opara – clubs and Master in charge of Mathematics and integrated science. Work progressed with the first staff meeting held on January 16, 1980. The Pioneer prefects elected were Martin Iregbulem and Eunice Okoro (Senior Prefect). Others were Ogadinma Mgboekwere (lanbour), Caroline Aririguzo (sanitary), Robert Emerenini (Regulator), Victor Onwukwe and Clementina Opara (Library Prefects.
Al hands were on deck to nurture the baby of the Union hence theBoard of the Governors of the School was inaugurated on June 27, 1980 with the following as members to work with the principal and Parent Teachers’ Association. They included Late Eze c.e. Ahaneku – chairman, A.N. Azuwuike, Nze S.I.C Ogumannam, A.C. Ndunagum and C. Ezeji Nwawume. November 27 1980 witnessed the inauguration of the Parents Teachers association of the school. The executive members included Nze S.I.C Oguamanam – Chairman, Same Ihemefor, Late Cosmas Ahaneku, Michael Udunna. Others were Barnabas Umejuru, Benson Ike, Nwanjoku Ogubie, S. Iregbulem and Damian Oparaugo. By and large the school continued to grow in size and strength and the services of the non-tutorial staff were reqired. It was again the prerogative of Ifaakala Central Union who then appointed the following for the ardous task head. There were, Late Joachin Okoro, Head messenger, Nwaogwugwu, Laate Naeke Diala, Late Osuoha Abiazie. Late Aguguo, Late Epuchiem, Beniginus, Late Agumadu Josiah and Osuoha Theodore all security men.
The government plays a vital role in the running of the school hence they monitor the activities in the school by sending Supervisors and Inspectors from time to time.
On January 25 1980 officials of the sports Council led by M. Izum Nliam visited and marked the school handball, Football and Volleyball pitches. On March 2, 1981 the school had first inspection led by Rev s. J. Ijeoma. To ensure that there was proper teaching and learning of the Sciences the first consignment of science equipment arrived the school on February 23, 1982 and November of the same year witnessed the WEEC approval inspection led by Rev. Ijeoma. The workshop equipment was deliverd to the school on February 2, 1987. To aid the school too, the Federal Government donated books in various subjects likewise the Nkalu Omere Ele Agwa Social Club, Ifakala – courtesy of an illustrious son of the community Dr. Hilary Iregbulem. The school also benefited from the services of NYSC members of which the first was J. Odibo 1981 batch and the Indiaan couple Mr. and Mrs. Roomi.
Academically, the school is not lagging behind. The first School Certificate Examination was taken in 1984. The school ever since then has presented candidates who came out in flying colors and are found in various walks of life.
In the are of sports, the school is not left out. Her first Inter-House sports was held in march 18, 1980. Red House came first to win the Hon J.C.M. Durueke Cup. The school was among the first in the are to own a Cltural dance – “Uri Nwa Nnunu” courtesy of a Lady staff Ifeoma from Anambra State. Since then, the school has continued to progress in sports.
Many Principals were involved in the administration of the school and each made remarkable achievement. They include: D.C. Arungwa, G.M. Iwuchukwu, P. Emekwuru, Mr. Onuoha, Late Nze M.O. Onyewuchi, Chief Onyenwe, Mrs Pel Njoku and T.N. Mbaagwu till date. The Town Union under late Mr. P Ugwunali and Chief J. I. Uba and Mr. L Ukaegbu helped to see that there was peace and order in the school at various times and ensured that the needs of the school were met.
In the course of events and Board of governors of the school was reconstituted with the following as members: A.O Ndunagum, Chairman, Nze I Ekezie, Nze S.I.C Oguamanam, Mr. Emmanuel Nwaiwu, C. Nwawume. The Parent Teachers Association was also reconstituted with the Sir I. I. Ugwulebo, Chairman, C.C. Nwankwogu, Bede Nwawume, C. Amaechi, and Mrs. J Uzoma. Others who made useful contributions in cash and kind to the school included Eze M.A.E. Ekerue, the Eze Ri Oha Mma II of Ifakala. Hon V. C. Ndunagu, Eze Cyril Ahaneku, Ezumezu I of Nkalu, Chief A.N. Azuwuke. So also the Umunneji Social Club , Okilo Social Club and others too numerous to mention.
No story is complete without the sad experiences. In some occasions the school was robbed in eiter cash or valuable properties. The first was on January 13, 1984 when thieves broke into the Principal’s Office and removed cash and other materials including ourvre blades. The second was on January 24, 1988 – Technical Workshop. In August and October of same year, they also broke into the Science Laboratory and Workshop again. The Bursar on June 30, 1982 was robbed of the Staff Salary at Egbeada – Ubomiri thogh the Government in 1983 paid back the money to the Staff. The suffered the loss of some members of staff, Tutorial Mrs. M. Nwaiwu, C. alozie, A.C. Nwaiwe, L.N. Dimunah after retirement and Nze M. Onyewuchi.
The non-tutorial include: Nwaeke Diala, Osuoha Abiazie, Agumadu Josiah, Nze B Epuchiem, J Okoro and R. Aguguo. Amongs the students were Peter Osueke, Stanley Ebereonwu, Master Madu and others.
Variety they say is the spice of life and as the school grows changes occur. Recently the PTA was reconstituted with Chief Lambert Amuzie as the Chairman. For all who are responsible for the growth of the school, they sky should be our limit.
We pray and hope that God will equally lead us to the Golden Jubilee Celebrations.