. . . Teachers should be role models to pupils – Fr Umeojilinnaka
By Uche Enem
As a way of instilling and promoting cultural significance among pupils, the Archbishop Obiefuna Day Care, Nursery and Primary School, Unizik Temp-site, Awka, celebrated Archbishop Obiefuna Day and maiden cultural day celebration at the school premises on 11th May, 2019.
As the saying goes, 'Catch them young', the event was filled with pupils dressed on radiant attires, colourful beads and beautiful accessories as the pupils expressed their culture in dance, songs, recitations and other performances. The event was really eye catching, interesting, fun filled as each class had a cultural piece to present.
Leading in a concelebrated Mass, Rev. Fr. Christian Umeojilinnaka, the founder of the school, expressed joy over the fast development and growth in the school. With the help received from Prof Linus Ezenweke, Pita Ejiofor, Sir. Vincent Otikpa and the chaplaincy council, he narrated how the school started and the challenges he received onset. According to him, Catholic schools were not visible within the locality, so there was need to set up Archbishop Obiefuna School, to instill the Catholic educational values. He recalled that 42 people started the school and thanked the pioneer members and pioneer teachers.
Using the book of Sirach 30, he told parents to always be ready to correct their wards when they go wrong. He added that teachers who are closer to parents should be role models to the pupils. He concluded by thanking the management team, staff, parents and friends for their support in the school.
At the reception, the chairman of the occasion, Prof Linus Ezenweke, who is also the catechist at St. Joseph Parish, Awka, welcomed all to the event and thanked them for their time. He expressed joy over the initiative of the school to celebrate and instill cultural values on the pupils.
Delivering the welcome address, the Headmistress of the school, Rev. Sr. Ijeoma Uzozie, read that the school took the name of Archbishop Obiefuna, because of the Archbishop's active role in the diocese of Awka and in St. Joseph the Worker Chaplaincy, now St. Joseph Parish. The address, appreciated the committee members under the chairmanship of Mr. Valentine Nnaji, for their efforts towards the success of the program. The address called on good spirited individuals to help with some of the school's challenges namely; completion of the school building, computers, generators, approved textbooks, games wear, football, volley ball, table tennis, lawn tennis, book shelf and drinking bucket for each class.
The School was established on 19th September, 2016 at the then St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Chaplaincy, Unizik temp-site, Awka and it is presently located opposite the main gate of the now St. Joseph Catholic Parish. A month after, 26th October, Bishop Paulinus Ezeokafor laid the foundation for the school and presently, the school has over 142 pupils.
Delivering the vote of thanks, the Parents Teachers' Association (PTA) Chairman, Hon Uche Oraneli, thanked all present at the event. He thanked all the teachers, parents, friends and well wishers for their support and encouragement.
In his remarks, the manager of the school, Rev. Fr. Kilian Ike, thanked the parish council, parish priest and priest in residence at St. Joseph Parish. He thanked the pioneer founder and manager, Fr. Christian Umeojilinnaka for his support and encouragement. He thanked the teachers, parents and the organizing committee for their contributions to the success of the event.
Some of the highlights of the event includes; new cast performance, fashion display of K.C Charles, recitation of the lifetime of Late Archbishop Kanene Obiefuna by Chinedu Okoli, food and animal learning in Igbo, dance display, Alphabet show, talent/ handwork show, Igwe/Lolo contest and many other performances by different classes in the school.