By: Com. Oyetoro Olajide
If you grew up at Ota in Ogun state way back in the 80’s up till mid 90’s, even somewhat early 20’s, this article as per the whereabouts of our alma matas will of cause provoke you the same way it did the writer.
Ade-Ojo nursery and primary school,located at number 22, Ojo Asalu crescent, Mefun road, Ota, Ogun state sentimentally happened to be the best amongst its contemporaries in terms of skillful administration championed by Mr and Mrs Ade Ojo, who monitored the school till it garnered a name for itself even above the shores of Ota, i recount that i used to have a very close friend who came all the way from Osun state to school in Ade-Ojo, not for whatever reason, say for its beautiful serene and well spacious and organized academic environment. Our teachers, some of whom were Mr Okunlola, Mr Ojus of blessed memory, Mr Abegunde, Mr Adeyemi(Big guy), Miss Opafunsho to name but a few were seasoned teachers that stood out at the local government and up to the state level. Little wonder why the outputs were non-comparable, high competitions both intra and inter schools was a weapon which the student had in their arsenal. It was a rare collection of best brains available within Ota community.
Most, if not all my colleagues emphatically are not doing badly in their chosen careers. Inter-schools sports competition was another great platform for the multi-talented pupils to exhibit their rivalries, Omolabake nursery and primary school was almost always invincible for the rest of the schools, their relay competition was classic and one wonders how they got the skills out of the students.
Ijamido and Iganmode nursery and primary schools were another schools that poised great threat in sports and quiz competitions, Mother’s joy is remembered for their numerous but 9/11(molue) school buses, Otun nursery and primary school along side Grait were swiftly in the race. Fortune green, Greater tomorrow, Benmarg and Star kids were another up-coming schools that would always wanted to showcase their guts in a mini way. If you never attended any of the aforementioned schools, please, kindly contact your parents to ask them their motives behind not enrolling you in the best schools we had at Ota in the said years.
A visit to most of the schools under emphasis in this article bemoans the writer to ask this question, “Where are our Alma Matas?”. Ade-Ojo nursery and primary school has since become an hotel, a building that used to raise the collection of brains and potential world leaders. Some political opponents in the future might even ask the old students of the school to come and establish if they truly attended the schools they updated in their curriculum vitae, on getting to the scene of some of these schools, am sure the hotel manager and church pastors would be on ground to tend to the investigators, how sad?
Tender-care nursery and primary school that was established somewhat in the mid 80’S has now turned to where miracle happens and tithes are paid, a building that has once housed the seasoned doctors and engineers that Ota can boast of now, how pathetic? I can not remember hearing Ijamido nursery and primary school as of late, the publicity of Omolabake, now Cosmopolitan college has gone so slim. Mother’s joy and Grait still operates but i can’t ascertain if they are still functional.
Star kids models and Fortune green has turned to a residential building, the schools that produced Ota’s future prominent town planners and architects, what a turn around! Co-incidentally, i ran into my headmistress(mrs Ojo)at Igbo-Ora somewhere in Oyo state, she could hardly remember me, but immediately i mentioned my surname, she changed her countenance and rapped me in her arms, she was so pleased to meet one of her tutored or managed pupils again, i so remember her 504 Peugeot that she used as school bus to convey the students that comes from inner Ota axis.
I later paid a courtesy visit to the head master himself, he is so old but energetic, he also felt very pleased to have been reunited with one of his wards after almost two decades. It is crystal clear that they do not possess the wherewithal(strength) to run or manage the school beyond which they have, but the question i should have not forgotten to ask them were, “why couldn’t the legacy continue?, why has my alma mata turned to an hotel?”
I am not saying that the available schools now do not possess what the then schools possessed, but it is widely established that the standard of education keeps falling everyday, more reasons why we can not put side by side the likes of the Ambassadors, Oxford, Ota total academy, D-ivy college, ECOWAS college amongst others with the schools we had way back. The difference is crystal clear. With the above analysis, one would be quick to establish that the schools we had at Ota in the past can no where be compared with the kinds and calibers of schools that floods every junctions and streets of the community now. I so wish that our alma mata could be brought back and run efficiently the way it was run way back, even if it is under different management, the names alone are trade names that should not go into extinction in the nearest century.