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Missionary schools in Nigeria

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Great were the thoughts that went into establishing Mission Schools. Noble were the exertions, labour and sacrifice that went into giving Nigeria foundational materials for human capital development, which provided the building blocks for our social and economic development, cultivation of refinement and civilization. And for our independence and banished ignorance, for broadening minds so we could recognize liberty and freedom.

We recognize sophistry and cant. Ages enduring gratitude the nation owes them all. This cannot be appreciated until we run our eyes through the list.

Step forward CMS Grammar School, Lagos. The oldest secondary school in Nigeria, it was founded on 06 June, 1859. It was first sited in Abeokuta before it was relocated to Lagos.

To follow suit and take a bow is Methodist Boys High School, 1878. The following year, its female arm, Methodist Girls’ High School, Lagos, came on the scene. That was 1879. Baptist Academy, Lagos, followed in 1885.

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From Lagos, efforts moved to the East. The first secondary school in the East was Hope Waddell Training Institute, Calabar, now Cross River State capital. It was founded in 1895.

The next stop was Ibadan, St. Annes School, Molete, Ibadan.

Here is the list of the early schools, mission, private or government owned. The identity of each is easy to decipher.

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*CMS Grammar School, Lagos, 1859;
*Methodist Boys High School, Lagos, 1878;
*Methodist Girls High School, Lagos, 1879;
*Baptist Academy, Lagos, 1885;
*Hope Waddell Training Institute, Calabar, 1895;
*St. Annes School, Molete, Ibadan, 1896;
*Methodist Boys High School, Oron, 1903;
*St. John’s School, Bida, 1904;
*Wesley College, Elekuro, Ibadan, 1905;
* Abeokuta Grammar School, Abeokuta, (Anglica), 1908;
*Kings’ College, Lagos, 1909;
*Ijebu-Ode Grammar School, Ijebu-Ode (Anglican), 1913;
*Eko Boys High School, Lagos, 1913:
*Government Secondary School, Ilorin, 1914;
*Government College, Katsina-Ala, 1914;
*Etinan Institute, Etinan, Akwa Ibom: 1915;
*Ondo Boys High School, Ondo, (CMS), 1919;
*Barewa College, Zaria, 1921;
*Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, 1923;
*Methodist College, Uzuakoli, 1923;
*Ibo Boys’ High School, Uzuakoli, (CMS), 1923;
*Queen’s College, Yaba, 1927;
*Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Anambra, 1927;
*Government College, Ibadan, 1927;
*Government College Umuahia, 1927;
*United Memorial Grammar School, Ibadan, 1928;
*St. Gregory’s College, Obalende, Lagos, 1928;
* St. Thomas College, Ibusa; (CMS) 1928;
* St. Charles College, Onitsha, 1929;
*Igbobi College, Lagos, (Anglican) 1932;
*St. Theresa College, Ibadan, 1932;
*Oduduwa Grammar School, Ile-Ife (CMS), 1932:
*Christ the King College, Onitsha, 1933;
*Christ School, Ado-Ekiti, 1933;
*St. Patrick’s College, Calabar, 1934;
*Holy Rosary College, Enugu, 1935;
*Government Secondary School, Owerri, 1935;
*Edo College, Benin, 1937.
*Ibadan Boys High School, Ibadan, 1938;
*Baptist High School, Bodija, Ibadan, 1940;
*Queen of the Rosary College, Onitsha, 1942;
*African Church School, Kajola, Ifo, 1943;
*Lisabi Grammar School, Abeokuta, 1943;
*Offa Grammar School, Offa, 1943;
*Olivet Heights, Oyo, 1945;
*Adeola Odutola College, (Old Olu-Iwa College), Ijebu-Ode, 1945;
*Government College, Ughelli, 1945:
*Anglican Girls Grammar School, Lagos, 1945.

Of 31 secondary schools surveyed from 1859 and 1037, only the government, federal or state, established seven; 24 belonged to the Missions.

To be continued next week.

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