Old girls seek return of St. Maria Goretti’s Girls School to Catholic mission
To restore moral values and provide 21st century learning infrastructure needed for contemporary teaching and learning, old students of St. Maria Goretti Girls Grammar School, Benin City, under the aegis of Old Girls’ Association St. Maria Goretti Girls Grammar School (SMAGOGA), are calling on the state government to return the school to the missionary.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos, at a one-day forum organised by the old girls to announce the school’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), and launch of a scholarship scheme (scheduled for Saturday November 21, 2015), Managing Director, Trans-World Security Service Company, Mrs. Victoria Ekhomu, stressed that the present state of the school questions the vision of its founding fathers.
This she said was not only in the area of infrastructural deficit, but also in the area of moral, discipline and overall wellbeing of the girl-child. She maintained that the call for the return of the school was premised on the need to redefine, improve, maintain and sustain the future of the girl-child.
Even though Governor Adams Oshiomhole, has promised to return the school upon completion of the government-sponsored renovation works, the old girls are deeply were perturbed by the rising level of moral decadence in the school.
She said, “We are insisting on the take-back of the school from the government. Not because of government’s incapability or lack of vision for the school, but with the intent to redefine, create and improve the moral aspect of education in the country, through our alma mater, and also provide the necessary amenities that will aid qualitative learning.
“The general decline in our nation’s standard of education has grossly affected the high moral, academic standard and discipline of this great institution. Fifty four years after, St. Maria Goretti Girls’ Grammar School is a shadow of its old self with no boarding facilities causing many to wonder whether the takeover of schools from the missionaries was a curse or blessing.”
“We the old girls enjoyed a lot of privileges and the good virtues cultivated by Sister Henrietta Powers (fourth principal of the school) in all spheres of endeavours. So, we wish to fight with the intent to extend this same grace and privilege to our younger girls for a better and brighter future since it is no longer obtainable because of the poor state of the school presently.”
Commending Oshiomhole for restructuring the former schools, Ekhomu pledged that the association would do everything within its power to ensure that moral and academic excellence was returned to their alma mater.
Saint Maria Goretti Girls’ Grammar School was founded on March 4, 1959, by the Catholic Mission Proprietor, the late Bishop P.J. Kelly as the first “All Girls” Secondary School in Benin City. The school was named after St. Maria Goretti because it was established the same year Maria Goretti, a 12 year-old girl who stood for purity in mind and body was canonized.