St. Anne’s School Old Girls’ Students Association (SSASOGA), Molete, Oyo State, one of the nation’s premier female secondary school, have concluded plans to roll out the drums for the celebration of the 150th anniversary of their alma mater.
The school established in 1869 by the Church Missionary Society (CSM) and now a public school, has produced prominent female Nigerians making waves in the country and abroad.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos on the forthcoming event, the chairperson of the 150th-anniversary committee, Dr. Funmilayo Soleye said though the celebration is a year-long activity but that a three-day programmes will hold at the school from October 17 to 19.
Dr. Soleye, flanked by Mrs. Adenike Adeshina, chairperson for finance and fundraising and Mrs. Bisola Ariyibi, chairperson for media and publicity, said the school is the oldest female school in Nigeria and was established to nurture girls to become a leading light in the society.
According to her, the history of the school can be traced to the merger of two schools; C.M.S. Girls School founded in 1869 and Kudeti Girls School founded in 1899, adding that C. M. S Girls School relocated from Lagos in 1950 to form St Anne’s School Ibadan.
She disclosed that the old girls have been raising funds to execute projects in their alma mater and that during the event, SSASOGA will raise funds to complete and start up new ones, stating ‘’many old girls abroad have gotten in touch about the anniversary and are ready for the occasion.’’
The chairperson of the 150th anniversary said activities for the event will start on October 17 with talk show to the over 3,000 students, quiz competition, games, while commissioning of projects will hold on October 18 and the grand finale will take place on October 19 with the Annual General Meeting as well as funds raising.
Soleye said SSASOGA has spent about N25million in the last six months on the renovation, repairs, and beautification of the school, adding ‘’we want to restore the lost glory of our alma mater.’’
She explained that awards will be presented to past and present principals of the school and outstanding teachers as a way of appreciating their contributions and imparting knowledge on the old girls and the current students.
The finance and fundraising chairperson, Mrs. Adeshina said the anniversary theme is: “The trials and successes of the girl-child education in Nigeria: The St. Anne’s Story” stating that the standard of the school has fallen and that the old girls are concerned about the situation.
Adeshina noted that SSASOGA refurbished classroom blocks, renovated school hall, repair, repainted and upgraded 36 toilets, rehabilitated water system and kitchen.
‘’Different sets took care of the ICT with 30 computers, library, renovation of the first hall, offer scholarship to students, construction of new school gate. We engaged teachers in certain subjects.’’
On her part, the chairperson of media and publicity of the anniversary, Mrs. Ariyibi said the education of girl-child has an impact on the family and society, stressing ‘’the government has the mandate to provide quality education’’.
Said she: ‘’St. Anne’s School was set up to produce women leaders in the society. We are proud of our alma mater and that is the reason we want to give back to the school that made us what we are today.’’
Ariyibi said SSASOGA is not satisfied with the performance of the current students and will take steps to arrest the drift and have also been campaigning for the return of the school to the mission.
Among the prominent old girls include the Late Lady Kofo Ademola, the first Nigerian female graduate, Mrs. Tejumade Alakija, the first Nigerian female science graduate, Late Justice Roseline Omotoso, Mrs. Dorothy Akanya, the first female commissioner for Health in the former Northern region; Major General Ibironke Kale (rtd), the first Nigerian female Major General, Late Mrs. Flora Nwapa-Nwakuche, the first Nigerian female novelist, Late Justice Atinuke Ige, Prof. (Mrs.) Bolanle Awe, the first Nigerian female Professor of History.