Bishop Ezeokafor Blesses St John of God’s JAMB Approved CBT Centre

. . As School Solicits Funds for Hostel Project

By Chioma Ndife

The Chief Shepherd of the Catholic Diocese of Awka, His Lordship, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, has blessed and officially declared open, St. John of God Secondary School’s well equipped Information CommunicationTechnology (ICT) Centre which has been approved as Computer Based Test (CBT) Center by Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB).

Bishop Ezeokafor blessed the JAMB approved CBT Centre on Saturday, November 30,during his pastoral visit to the school where he administered the Sacrament of Confirmation on over 187 Catholic faithful.

The pastoral visit of Bishop Ezeokafor presented an opportunity for the school management to solicit for funds to speed up the ongoing hostel project in a bid to admit and accommodate more persons.

Fides gathered that the school, over the years, had been rejecting qualified prospective students due to inadequate hostel space for the school management to provide conducive accommodation that would promote effective learning.

Speaking at the visit, Bishop Ezeokafor emphasized the benefits of having a conducive school environment, noting that it promoted qualitative and holistic development of students in the field of academics and other spheres of life. He maintained that the visit would give the education department of the diocese a first-hand information of activities going in the school and offer an avenue to make the school the best of its kind.

He said, for the school to develop better than its current state, the school management, parents, students and old girls, must come together to devise means of working out things. He maintained that the essence of having old girls and boys in any school was for them to think back and contribute qualitatively in order to give back to the school that was responsible for their formation.

The Catholic prelate underscored the importance of missionary education and the roles it had played in restoring sanity in human society, calling on all to support the management of St. John of God to enable it to achieve the vision of missionary education.

Commissioning the project, Bishop Ezeokafor commended the school management for their initiative. He noted that the introduction of the computer centre was in line with the educational policies and programmes geared towards making students ICT compliant. He said the centre would help students develop interest in some careers that were internet driven, identifying ICT as the propeller of all life activities.

In an address of welcome, the School Manager, Rev. Fr. Chigozie Jidere, described the pastoral visit of Bishop Ezeokafor as a blessing to the school, saying it would bring forth new dimensions of development. He disclosed that the pastoral visit was needed for the confirmation of Catholic students, as well as for the official blessing of the school’s ultramodern CBT centre.

He traced the history of the school, which was founded in 1964 by Rev. Sisters of the Congregation of St. John of God from Ireland and how the government took over the school after the civil war and its subsequent return to the Church in 2011 during the tenure of Governor Peter Obi as Anambra State Governor.

He disclosed the various laurels which the school had won in some competitions it took part in, as well as achievements recorded in structural development, saying the school management was greatly committed to the holistic development of the students. He beckoned on good spirited individuals to assist the school to conclude its ongoing school hostel that had the capacity of housing between 600 and 1000 students.

Speaking to Fides, the Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Kanayo Nwafor, commended the school management for the pace which the school had maintained over the years. He stressed the importance of the newly blessed ICT centre and the immense benefit which the students stand to drive from the center. He charged the students to make effective use of the ICT center and develop their skills in digital marketing needed in today’s business environment.

For her part, the Mother of the Day, Lady Stella Njaka, called on the school management to make provisions for a church to be erected in the school, saying that it would enhance the moral training of the students.

The PTA Chairman, Dr. MC Nnoli, reaffirmed the commitment of the association to create a better environment for the students in order to assist them to achieve their full potentials, even as he revealed other activities which the PTA would embark upon to make the school better.

Rendition of Welcome Song by the school choir team

The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor (2nd left), assisted by the School Manager, Rev. Fr. Chigozie Jidere (1st right) and the mother of the day, Lady Stella Nnenna Njaka cuts the tape to declare the CBT Center open for use.

The School Proprietor, Bishop Paulinus Ezeokafor blessing the CBT JAMB approved center. 1st right is the School Manager, Rev. Fr. Chigozie Jidere

Bishop Ezeokafor (5th left) poses with some of the confirmed students and their sponsor, Lady Stella Njaka (3rd), the School Manager, Fr. Chigozie Jidere (4th left), his Assistant, Fr. JohnBosco Nkanyimmuo (7th left) and School Principal, Mrs. Anthonia Nwanekie (6th left) after the concelebrated Eucharistic Celebration.