From George Onyejiuwa, Warri

Government Secondary School Owerri, which was established in 1935 by the then British colonial masters, has produced prominent citizens who have become captains of Industry, politicians, and administrators.

But, like every other public school, GSS) has suffered neglect with decayed educational infrastructure as a result of inadequate funding by the state government, which inherited the school from the former Eastern Region Government.

However, the Old Boys of GSS Owerri, determined to restore their alma mater which has a student population of over 4,000, to its once prestigious status and to maintain the standard and quality of education,  and a conducive learning environment have taken it upon themselves to execute projects, and renovate the Domentaries.

The National President of the Old Boys of GSS, Dr Etofolam Osuji at the annual general meeting said but for the old boys the school would have decayed but that the old students continued to ensure that the school is maintained.

He also appealed to the state government to address the various challenges plaguing the school so that it would regain its old glory as the best in the South East.

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“ The national body of the old boys has been giving back to the school through contributions.  We have also engaged teachers privately to help out in teaching the students. We built the teachers’ staff room, ICT, libraries. We are planning the expansion of the auditorium.

Another old students, Sir Chinweuba Amaechi, said “ Today you witnessed the commissioning of several projects by different sets of the old boys . All the new buildings you see in this school were either rebuilt or renovated by different sets of the old voys.The Red Hall for instance, was remodelled by one of us, the 1962 set , Eze  Ugo Nwandu .He did not stop at changing the physical structure, he also donated some chairs. The school laboratory was rebuilt and re- equipped. Like the national president did say, we are trying to fence the entire premises of the school to make it secure. We want to ensure that the projects done here are safe.

“My set of 1982, has expended about N20 million for our own projects apart from what the other various sets are doing. Government Secondary School Owerri is currently one of the best public schools in the state based on WAEC results.  I know that the class set of 73 are rewarding best students in some subjects by giving them Laptops and even monetary rewards.

“We have also ensured that the school, which is noted for cricket, that the tradition is sustained. During this annual event the old boys had a match between them and current students. Recently our cricket team won a cup in Imo state. We have continued to sustain that heritage.  Next year the school will be 90 years.”

Similarly, Victor Oguamalam, class captain of the 74 set, said that GSS Owerri is one of most prestigious schools in South East with a host of prominent old boys scattered across Nigeria.

“This school should have a pride of place amongst schools in the state and Nigeria. But as you can see the old boys alone are doing everything. The government should do more in terms of funding. But they are not doing enough. It is the old boys that have been responsible for most of the new buildings you see in the school because of lack of adequate funding. As one of the oldest schools in the South East because next year the school will be 90 years. We, the old boys of GSS are striving to ensure that the prestige of the school as one of the best in academic excellence is sustained.”