All is set for the 40th-anniversary celebration of Surulere Secondary School, Lagos, which will be held from November 25-27, 2021.
The alumni, Surulere Secondary School Old Students Association (SSSOSA) under the leadership of its president, Professor Olusegun Okunnu, said the association would try to accomplish all the projects it conceived to improve students’ learning conditions in the school.
Speaking at a media parley in Lagos recently, to intimate the media on the programme lineup for the celebration, the president pledged to complete the project mandates by the first quarter of next year before the current tenure elapse in 2022.
Prof. Okunnu outlined the projects, which he said has reached 66.7 percent completion to include; projects/programmes specifically focused on the development of the students and improvement of the structures in the school to improve learning, build a library and computer center, and provide a forum for skill acquisition and job opportunities of current students and alumni.
The association also intends to review its constitution to enable it to create a structured organization headed towards the growth of its beloved Alma Mata, as well as formalize its registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
However, the anniversary will also be a forum to honor Mr. V. K. Ogunyemi, the school’s pioneer principal, who will deliver a lecture with a theme that centers on life. The alumni will also honor some other former staff members of the school who made key contributions towards the development of the institution.
“The lecture will talk about life itself. The V. K. The Memorial Lecture will talk about things.” The university doesn’t disclose. Seminars by professionals who passed through the school will be delivered to educate students on the importance of giving back.
The conference was attended by key executive members of the association including; Adebayo Adebisi, secretary-general, Itah Abasi, financial secretary, and Reverend Tonia Omonze. The school’s vice-principal, Bridget Aniegbulam, and some other staff were also in attendance.
The school was established on September 26, 1980, to bring schools closer to homes for the residents of Surulere, though many students came from Mushin, and outside Lagos to attend. It had 221 foundation students from form 1-3 with only eight teachers and fourteen students studying.
The school had its own challenges ranging from lack of building structures, comfortable classrooms among others.
Prof. Okunnu recalled the experience of some discomfort, which students had had to go through compared to better structures and technological dynamism that today’s students enjoy in terms of access to information technology.
“In those days students had challenges. Our classrooms had no windows, doors, and ceiling, but only the roof. We felt it when it rained and it was very traumatic”, he recalled.
The professor of Economics and Statistics, who taught in the United States of America, said the challenges students of the school went through prepared them to wither the storms of life in the future.
Okunnu decried the moral decadence among the contemporary students, which has pervaded the society, and blamed it on lack of parental proper home training of their children/wards.
“There is a moral decadence between my time and today’s students. My parents played great roles in forming my educational upbringing. My mother was responsible for ensuring I was of good conduct and did my class homework.”
He proffered a solution involving a collective responsibility of every citizen of the country to rebuild the nation as he challenged parents to wake up to their responsibilities towards their children.
The academia advised students to take advantage of their opportunity to study hard so as to become successful in their chosen career or profession.
For Itah Abasi, the alumni’s financial secretary, there is a need for the contemporary students to be of good conduct for a greater nation.
“In our days, you cannot be in school with bushy hair, but the situation is different now. Parents should groom their children to be in tandem with societal values”, Abasi advised.
The Surulere Secondary School’s 40th anniversary is expected to attract guests from home and abroad who have passed through the four walls of the citadel of learning.