By Eseoghene Emuke
Class 74’ of the Government College Ughelli Old Boys Association (GCUOBA) on Friday presented a 3.5KVA solar power system and a set of modern piano to the management of Government College, Ughelli (GCU), Delta State as parts of activities marking the class’ 40th graduation anniversary.
It also commissioned a block of three classrooms renovated by the old boys who started their secondary education at the college in September 1974.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Chairman of GCUOBA Class of 1974, Mr Larry Ovwromoh, said the gesture was their own way of giving back to a school that laid a solid foundation for them.
Ovwromoh, a lawyer, however, bemoaned the decline in the nation’s education quality, saying that GCUOBA will partner government to ensure that the school remains topnotch among colleges in the country.
“We are all here as classmates to celebrate our 40th graduation from the school, and because of what the GCU did for us, we are here to give back. That’s why we renovated this block of classrooms, bought a piano for the school. Music is a major part of the school idea, and we also provided solar system for the sick bay (the school hospital).
“On the aesthetics, they have tried to maintain the beauty of the place but as to quality of studies, I think there is a general decline, not just with GCU, but all over the country. There had been a steady decline. The attitude of students to learning has also changed drastically. We are now in the digital age where methods of learning involve audiovisuals than actual reading and writing.
“The old boys as a body have identified that issue and we are trying to pick up the teaching method and facilities by even providing extra teachers for lessons for the students to assist them in their final exams.
“We are also thinking that there is a need to partner with government to be involved in the admission process to filter those who are not supposed to be here. The teachers that come here should be deliberately selected so that we can get qualified teachers for the school.”
Commissioning the projects, an old student, Mr Onwah Isaac said they were happy to return to where they started life, adding that the items donated were to make studies more comfortable for the students and staff of the school.
Onwah, while advising students to take their studies seriously, he assured that GCUOBA Class of 1974 would continue to support the school to maintain its revered standard among colleges in the country.
“Our coming brought back some fun memories. But the school is dirty, compared to our time. In our time, tractors were used to ensure that the environment was kept clean but today there are grown grasses everywhere. We’ll think of the possibility of getting tractors for the school.
“I’ll tell the young ones to aspire. Government College is the best school among us here that’s why you have the people from all fields of endeavors – lawyers, doctors, accountants, architects, lecturers and what have you – here today. They should aspire and God will take them to the next level”, he added.
In his remark, the Principal of the college, Mr Ezekiel Akpeti, commended the Class of 74 for the donations, assuring that he would continue to ensure that the school maintains its academic excellence for producing great men for the society.
Highlights of the three-day event included pep talks at the school assembly ground, visit to the different houses, sick bay and thanksgiving service at the school hall.