Jude Chinedu, Enugu

The second annual general meeting of the Old Students’ Association of Ozalla Boys’ Secondary School, now Ozalla High School, Nkanu West Local Government Area, which held on January 7, 2020, was a great reunion. It provided a rare opportunity for former schoolmates and friends who had been separated for several years to, once again, share the bond of love and contribute to the development of the school.

Christened “The Return of the Eagles,” the event held at the school premises and served as an elective congress for the three-year-old association.

President-general of the association, Chief Obiora Nweke, said that aside from the pomp and camaraderie, the group was determined to reinvent the standards that made the school stand out as one of the best in the state.

“As the great eagle makes a return, I would implore us to imbibe a vision of creating a befitting environment where every child would be the best they can be. Let it be known that a vision without execution is mere hallucination.

“Let the association be prepared through different sets and our contacts to provide infrastructure that would make this school exceptional again in Enugu State in particular and Nigeria in general. Though the fencing project is top on our list, we still need blocks of classrooms, sports and other recreational facilities, hostels, as the dream to return the school to a boarding system as we enjoyed is still alive.”

He enumerated major efforts by the association to secure the school and improve on the academic output of its students.

He said, “first of all, we tried to secure the school. We did a survey with the state government and the principal of the school and the community because we were having some encroachment issues.

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“Now we have been able to determine the space that belongs to the school hence we have built gates at the front and the back of the school. The fencing of the school is ongoing. So, my target is to see that it is completed by next year. And then we will begin to look at structures in the school and some other things that we would like to provide there.

“So, what we are planning for this school is to ensure that it becomes one of the best schools in Enugu State and the way we want to do it is to provide quality education to them. Even if it takes the extra mile to provide quality teachers, the old boys’ association will pay to have quality teachers in the school.”

One of the old boys, the senior prefect of the 1986 set, Chijioke Ogbodo, said he was happy to reunite with some of his classmates who hitherto were in distant parts of the world. He expressed optimism that the association would emerge from its initial challenges to become a fulcrum for the rebirth of the school.

Ogbodo said: “Prior to this meeting, there were so many issues but those were just teething problems that every new association has. But we will be stronger for it. There are a whole lot of plans for the school and the community and we believe that this association will rank among the best in the country in terms of all-round assistance to our alma mater.”

In his remarks, principal of the school, Mr. Vin Ike Odo, thanked the association for its assistance, stating that it was an honour to have students who passed through an institution remember it and give back to the younger generation.

“I just want to say thank you for what you have been doing for the school. When a mother or a father is training his child, his hope is that the child will grow up one day to come back to feed him and the mother.

“I believe that you have done well and that is why we have people like you, men who have succeeded in society, but you still came back to your alma mater to say thank you. We thank you for the projects you have undertaken. We believe that in the days to come, more projects will be done in the school,” Odo said.