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Remo Secondary School At 60

Posted by By Niyi Lawal on 2006/01/26 | Views: 4241 |

Remo Secondary School At 60

REMO Secondary School Sagamu otherwise known as R.S.S was established on February 4, 1946, by the Anglican Methodist Missionary Society and the Remo community comprising 33 towns. Prior to this time most secondary schools were either boys or girls only.

REMO Secondary School Sagamu otherwise known as R.S.S was established on February 4, 1946, by the Anglican Methodist Missionary Society and the Remo community comprising 33 towns. Prior to this time most secondary schools were either boys or girls only.

Some of the schools after established have attempted to 'mix' their students like the Baptist Academy in Lagos and Abeokuta Grammar School, and some others. This experiment was not successful in those days that they had to revert to their old status after a few years of experimentation. However, some of the schools at long run started admitting boys and girls.

Remo Secondary School Sagamu is the first secondary school in Nigeria that started on its very first day as a co-educational institution for boys and girls. The 'project' then was so doubtful and seen by the colonial educational administrators as a dangerous educational experiment. Mr. W.T. Mackell the Chief Inspector of Education for Western Provinces commented in 1949 that putting boys and girls together in the same school those days is like putting together "gun-powder and matches".

The idea of co-education from the scratch was muted by Rev. W.F. Mellor, one of the Methodist missionaries for Remo division. The idea was fired after reading a book titled BEDALES - an experiment in co-education. Some of the schools before RSS then were the Grammar schools at Ibadan, Ijebu-ode, Abeokuta and Lagos (CMS). Others are Kings College, Ondo Boys High School in Lagos, Uzuakoli and Oron all for boys. While schools like St. Annes Ibadan, Anglican Girls in Lagos, Methodist Girls High School, Queens College to mention just a few were solely for girls.

The first principal was Pa E.O. Dada till 1948 when the Late Reverend Canon Odusanwo took over from him from Ibadan Grammar School. He was the immediate predecessor of Pa Alayande, the longest serving principal of Ibadan Grammar School. He laid the solid academic foundation for the school giving it a very good future. He took the school into the AIONIAN fold as a member. AIONIAN is a body comprising 12 secondary schools in the Western Region of Nigeria doing things in common till today. For example the entrance examination is same day, same school uniform and a biannual sports festival and they are the top secondary schools usually the oldest and the first in each division of the then Western Region.

The motto of the school is "For God and fatherland" being a missionary cum community school and this did not disallow the admission of the students across Nigeria. As predicted on the Founders' day in 1946 by the founding Principal Pa E.O. Dada, the school had provided arrays of professionals, businessmen/ women and noble people across all career lines both within Nigeria and beyond with some getting to the peak. There is also a pleasant coincidence as regards the schools first senior perfect, the late Mr. Ebun Awobokun who married the first senior prefect girl - former Miss Beatrice Bose Dada (Mrs. Awobokun). Mr. Awobokun was the first African Director of Dunlop Nigeria Plc while the wife was the Personal Assistant to the late Prime Minister Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. She was a sprinter and in the relay team of our dear country Nigeria.

In 1965, the school was granted the status to operate the Higher School Certificate. In 1966, the West African School Certificate saw Dr, Femi Lawal (now Medical Director, Emel Hospital, FESTAC Town, Lagos) and the immediate past President Paediatrics Association of Nigeria, having the best result in mathematics of that year in West Africa and a prize was awarded. In 1972, the school principal Pa. E. A. Onaeko was appointed Chairman, Western State Schools Board, administering the principals of all the secondary schools in the then Western Region.

Let us periscope into some of the old students that have made the school proud and won laurels. Mr. Oludayo Sonuga, former President Chamber of Commerce, Industries & Agriculture and former Chairman, Ecobank. He is a notable industrialist. Mr. Yinka Lawal Solarin, Chairman, Literamed Publications Limited and immediate past President, Association of Nigerian Publishers, Chief Oye Awofola - Pefac & Associates; Mr. Siji Osisanya, COI-Moore Industries first private security and printing company in Nigeria. Mr. Pegba Otemolu, Chief Kensington Adebutu of Face to Face Million dollar Pool and a host of others going along.

Ambassador Segun Olusola, Mr. Taiwo Alimi (former Director Voice of Nigeria), Mr. Kunle Bamtefa, Taiwo Osidele, and Ace Musician Adewale Ayuba. Chief Olu Awotesu (A minister in the second republic and two-term secretary Nigeria Bar Association, Messers Ariyo Adebayo, Olu Adenowo, Chief M.A.Soneye (first Director General, Ascon Badagry and a Federal Permanent Secretary). Professor Doris Afejuku (Law) and Mr. Justice Bolaji Ojo and the late Mr.S.A.O Odumuye, a lawyer and university administrator.

Late Mr. Ademola Oresanya, Ade Babington-Ashaye, Chief Lafenwa Osiberu, Rear Admiral Toye Sode (former Governor, Oyo State) Col. Emmanuel Soda, Navy Captain Ligali Lawal, Mr. Tola Mobolutin (immediate past president Institute of Stockbrokers), Prof. Olubi Sodipo (first Vice Chancellor Ogun State University) and first Nigerian Professor of Philosophy; Professor G.B. Ogunmola (former President, Nigerian Academy of Science), Prof. Richard Joshua (Vet Medicine). Prof. Mrs. Adebambo, Mrs. Abiola Babatope, Mrs.Iyabo Odulate (Permanent Secretary, Ogun State Civil Service) Mr. A.E. O.Oke (WAEC), Chief Olusola Falaye (former President, Island Club and a Partner in Coopers & Lybrands). Prof. Peter Okebukola, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission; Surveyors Obafemi Dada & Afolabi Solesi. The list is endless.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the maximum population was 800

students including those in the higher schools; the facilities were adequate, well maintained and protected. The flowers and gardens were well-kept, beautifying the school at any time. When the school was 25 years, the old students donated the administrative block. In 1996, at 50 years old, students in conjunction with West African Portland Cement Company donated a computer centre with all facilities to go with it. At 60, a set of buildings to house the staff built by the old students shall be commissioned.

Unfortunately, the school is a shadow of its old self. Facilities are never maintained, the walls are yearning for repaint, the shade trees and flowers are gone with the lawns getting brownish. Now the school population is above 2000 with about four vice-principals. In those days, the principal knew every student in the school. Last year (2005), the school's building roof was blown off and a lot of damage was done to the school permanent structures.

Despite the downward slide, we have reason to celebrate the school at 60. It is a great success pioneering co-education in Nigeria, after counting the school's blessing. We realise the motto of the school "For God and fatherland".

Lawal an Old Student of Remo Secondary School (RSS)lives in Lagos.

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Comments (9)

Kim Worley(Greeley, Colorado, US)says...

I heard this in a song and had no idea what it meant. Googled it and this came up. Very Cool. ????????????????

Obinna(Newark Nj)says...

I want to know more meaning and significant of this name obidike in igboland

Olusola Okhiria Nee Sodunke(Newport, Newport, UK)says...

This is a great piece of history, which is dear to our hearts as people and very much appreciated.

Many thanks to the people who worked hard in the past and those who are still making efforts to keep the institution.

The labour is obviouly worth it. We are proud of you all.

A lot still to be done, with the motivation of the champions of this course, others will follow as well to maintain the institution

May God continue to keep the edifice for development of future generations to the glory of God and the benefits of our fatherland.

Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...