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GOVERNMENT COLLEGE UMUAHIA – STILL CRYING FOR REDEMPTION

By NBF News
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This is authoritative - a certain Robert Fisher is turning in his grave! A child he gave birth to about 81 years ago, is on the verge of dying. If it were just the fact that his beloved child was on the verge of extinction, it would have been easily digested. But considering his near-death was, or is, meant to be easily avoided, then you get the clear picture.

I grew up to not only respect, but revere, any graduate of the legendary and prestigious Government College Umuahia (G.C.U). My joy could then be imagined when I got admission into that school. Putting on the pink and brown uniform on its own was meant to be an honour, a great one. It signified one thing in, not just Abia State , but I believe Nigeria - FAVOUR! The same cannot be said at the moment.

That school which produced almost every professionals in the country -- doctors, lawyers, engineers, artistes, journalists, etc, that school that depicted discipline and morals that every other school should follow, that school that had the best teachers the state could offer (and believe me, they are the best everywhere), that school that always earned rave review for the students' level-headedness, that school that made primary school pupils buckle up is gradually going down the drain.

While not getting emotional, let me quickly add that the influx of private schools in the state has taken its toll on the development of government schools.

In my estimation, the state could boast not less than a thousand private schools (exaggeration? Then visit the state). But I had expected the already great government schools like G.C.U, Ovom Girls' High School Aba and Girls' Secondary School Umuahia to set the pace, rather than falter when faced with such stiff challenges.

Who were you as a student of G.C.U to ever move in the school compound or even your mothers' kitchen with your uniform not properly tucked in? We always felt the teachers could see us wherever we were, so we always dressed properly, respected our seniors, read regularly, and even did our chores. Presently, any day that passes without me washing any of my clothes, I feel empty and filthy. That's what G.C.U put into you then. I cannot say the same about now. I always practically bled inside each time I went to Umuahia and saw the attitude of the students.

I therefore resolved to avoid the city, for fear of seeing worse things.

From the moment I gained admission into G.C.U and until I left, I had unforgettable experiences. Academically, we were up there with the best. The secret was our

involvement in extra-curricular activities that mattered. In sports, we were there.

We were the best in debate. In drama, we were never found wanting (I should know- I was the best French actor in the state in 2001). Teachers never bothered writing dramas for students to act for any competition. The students did everything themselves (as the president of the dramatic club, I wrote and directed dramas and debate for two years). All they needed do was give the students the freedom to act. Everybody knew we were the best in cultural dancing. Let us not even go into music.

All these made every graduating student get filled with nostalgia.

Government College Umuahia – Still crying for redemption (2)

Yes, everybody blames the government of the state for abandoning the government

schools. Once beautiful buildings in G.C.U are fast becoming shadows of their former

Everybody knew we were the best in cultural dancing. Let us not even go into music.

All these made every graduating student get filled with nostalgia.

Yes, everybody blames the government of the state for abandoning the government

schools. Once beautiful buildings in G.C.U are fast becoming shadows of their former

selves. Had the buildings not been erected by Europeans, maybe the students would be learning in an open field. The only reason I do not blame the government is because we never expected them to do anything anyway. If they never did anything in the

cities in the state, would they now do anything close to a mustard seed in a school

their kids, who are obviously out of the country, have no business with? I doubt.

The fact is this, the time has come for old boys of the school, who always have the

interest of the school at heart, to act before things get worse. I know a lot of

people who can lose a finger to salvage the situation. Odds are, there would be

blood. But that is what true sacrifice entails. We can no more fold our hands and

watch the situation go worse. The works of Robert Fisher, of Erekosima, of Cozens,

of Wareham , of Simpson and others would never go in vain. The foundation had been laid 81 years ago, we have to keep building on it. The dreams of our heroes past

MUST NEVER be ignored.
G.C.U must return to its past glories. It must keep producing heroes and legends

like the late Cyprian Ekwensi, the iconic Chinua Achebe, the sweet voiced Laz

Ekwueme, the talented Chukwuemeka Ike, the quiet-yet-glorious A.N.C Aniebo,the

popular politicians like Orji Uzor Kalu and Achike Udenwa, musician 2short

and…well,the truthful Kelechi Udensi!
Kelechi Udensi