By Ambrose Nnaji
The United Christian Secondary School Old Students’ Association (UCOSA), Apapa, Lagos State, has intensified efforts to get their alma mater back to its original owners – the Anglican, Baptist and Methodist churches, saying the government’s take-over of the school had put it in an unacceptable state.
Its President, Tony Iyare ,expressed confidence that after 16 years, their plea was getting the desired attention.
He told reporters in Lagos at a briefing to mark the 60th anniversary of the school, that the application for the demand of the school would be delivered to the Lagos State Ministry of Education.
Iyare said the school, then known as United Christian Secondary Commercial College, was founded in January 1959 by three missions – Anglican, Baptist and Methodist – to suit the needs of the Industrial Apapa Community. Hence the curriculum emphasised commercial subjects and secretarial studies at its inception.
However, the president said the school’s fortunes changed for the worse when government took over in 1975.
“Its lot has been on the downward slide since the change of ownership in 1975. The school, which was a high flier in both academics and sports further began to wane when it was relocated from its prime old site on Bombay Crescent to this less fancied site on Liverpool road,” he said.
Nevertheless, while waiting for the ownership change, the association urged the government to immediately clear the brothels and alcoholic shops constituting a menace around the school environment.
Iyare said they were constructed on drains, a violation of the environmental laws of the state.
“Against the backdrop of some recent ugly developments in the state and around the country, it has become imperative to ensure that students learn in very secured and safe condition”, he said.
The old students also urged government to extend the road leading to the School from Liverpool beyond the gate so the dumping of wrecked cars around the school’s entrance would stop.
“We want to implore the government to construct its new prototype 18- classroom block to replace the entire decrepit prefab, otherwise called Jakande buildings, dotting the School which are posing imminent danger to our students. This call has become urgent against the increasing rate of collapsed buildings in the state.
“We also want government support in our struggle to ensure that the School’s properties that have been lost to trespassers are urgently retrieved.”