The principal, staff and students of Idepe High School (IHS), Idepe town, Okitipupa, Ondo state as well as the people of the ancient community, were in a joyous mood on Friday June 8, 2018, during the commissioning of a Digital Resource Centre in the school.
The high-tech facility donated in memory of a renowned community leader Late Pa Samuel Ogen, was built and donated to the school by two of its old students, the incumbent Provost, Adeyemi College of Education (ACE), Ondo, Prof. Olukoya Joseph Ogen and a Senior Official from the Ondo State Judiciary, Barrister Ademola Enikuomehin.
The two former students of IHS were among the first set of students admitted in September 1978 and completed their education in June 1983.
The digital resources centre inaugurated by the Ondo State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Femi Agagu also enjoy the contributions of international and notables academics such as a United State of America- based Information Communication Technology ( ICT) expert and Vice-Chancellor of three ICT Universities located , in Namibia, Cameroun and Uganda, Prof. Victor Mbarika and the Former Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Professor Olufemi Balogun.
Professor Mbarika who is also the Executive Director of Southern University, International Center for Information Technology and Development (ICITD), Baton Rouge, Lousiana donated computer sets to the Centre while Professor Balogun donated a generating set to the centre.
The occasion was also used to confer awards on some retired teachers in the school among whom were Chief Badejo Omoboyewa Aroloye; Mr. Henry Ola Akinduro; Rev. A.A Omobuwajo; Chief John Ayewumi; Pastor Akinwale Oki, High Chief Igbekele Akeremale and Prof. Alaba Akinsola Agagu who have contributed immensely to the educational development of the donors.
In his remarks, the Ondo state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Femi Agagu, described the occasion as very significant and lauded Prof. Ogen and Barrister Enikuomehin for deeming it fit to remember their school, and naming the edifice after Pa Samuel Ogen, for the role he played in the progress of the school.
He said: "Pa Ogen deserves honour, the way to build a civilized society is when every child honours their parents. Again, apart from honouring parents, it is also a good thing when people honours teachers and administrators that have done well".
The commissioner commended the donors of the digital resource centre for exhibiting love for their former school and "ploughing back to the society,” and urged other to emulate their gestures which according to him would advance educational development.
Underscoring the importance of digital technology in contemporary society, the former Chief of Staff to late former Ondo State Governor Olusegun Agagu, said "since the world is moving at a very fast rate in the development of digital technology, and old method of learning is given way to modern and new ones that is knowledge driven, so " every of our schools would require a resource centre".
Agagu used the occasion to enumerate some achievements of the Ondo state government under the leadership of Arakunrin Odunayo Akeredolu and reiterated the commitment of the administration to educational development in the state.
In his address of welcome, the principal, Idepe High School (IHS) Idepe Okitipupa, Ondo state, Pastor Akingboye Michael Akinyemi, expressed joy for the construction, equipment and donation of the building to the school by two of its old students.
Akinyemi described the development as heartwarming and appealed to other public spirited individuals as well as other old students to emulate the donors.
The IHS principal also used the occasion to appeal to relevant bodies within the Education Ministry for more students placements into the school, provision of more teachers in subject areas such as Computer Science, Mathematics and Basic science as well as construction of drainage facilities in the school saying the move would enhance learning and boost morale of teachers and students of the College.
Also in his royal message the traditional ruler of Idepe community, Oba Michael Obatuga who was represented by High Chief Lisa of Idepe, Adekanmi Adegbola, expressed joy and thanked Prof. Olukoya Ogen and his friend, Barrister Ademola Enikuomehin for their contributions to the development of their alma mater.
The royal father described the duo as good ambassadors of the School whom the community is also proud of. He said: "I thanked these old students for remembering their school. I want to appeal that others should emulate them,” he remarked
Also in his short remarks, one of the donors of the Digital Resource Centre, Barrister Ademola Enikuomehin went down memory lane and stated that the decision by him and his friend, Prof. Olukoya Ogen to embark on the construction of the building and donation to their Alma mater, was driven by passion to plough back to the society.
He further stated that the naming of the complex after Pa Samuel Ogen, was to show appreciation for his (Late Pa Ogen's) contributions to the development of the School as well as his passion for educational advancement.
He commended Prof. Olukoya Ogen for financial contributions towards the completion of the building as well as his commitment to the progress and advancement of knowledge in the school.
Similarly in his short remarks, a United State of America- based Information Communication Technology (ICT) expert and Vice-Chancellor of three ICT Universities located , in Namibia, Cameroun and Uganda, Prof. Victor Mbarika congratulated students of the school and the donors for their gesture.
He explained that the decision by his family to identify with the project was demonstrated through the donation of set of computers to the digital resource centre. He disclosed his plan to offer scholarship to brilliant students who excel among graduating students in the school in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) University which would soon take off in Nigeria.
His words: "My wife and I donated the computers for this great library. Being an ICT Professor, she helped me a lot. What we want to see is that the next ICT personality in the world comes from this school, that is the reason we are starting the ICT University campus soon in Nigeria in October this year and it is my honour to announce here, that top students from this school we would like to give them full scholarship at the ICT University,” he stated.
Later In his remarks, the Provost of ACE Ondo, Prof. Olukoya Ogen also went down memory lane and gave details of how the School was founded as well as the financial contribution made by his late father, Pa Samuel Ogen to the growth of the institution.
He stressed the importance of giving, noting that the decision by his late father to contribute one of the highest amount during the fund raising ceremony carried out few years after the College was established, may have been responsible for his attainment of current status as the first professor to emerge from the school.
‘”Why we named that place after him was that when the High School launched its first development fund, while other people were donating N2, N3, he look for N50 because he valued education. He is not here, but his memory will continue to linger forever."
The College Administrator described the occasion as special and stated that the building of the project and its inauguration, marked the beginning of new and wonderful things that would happen in the School
Prof Ogen, however, emphasized the need for people to remember their alma mater, and reiterated his plan to continue to contribute his best to academic advancement of the School by ensuring that the institution produce globally competitive computer experts, that would go to Silicon Valley in the United State of America to make exploit.
While expressing appreciation to Prof. Victor Mbarika for his support to ACE through donation of a drone and shipment of educational support materials which consists of microscope and projectors to Idepe High School, Prof. Ogen said the move would enhance academic development in the College.
He equally thanked Prof. Femi Balogun, a former Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), for his presence and express appreciation for his decision to donate a generating set for the use of the digital resource centre.
The well attended event featured the conferment of the honorary chieftaincy title of Bobaselu of Idepe kingdom on Prof. Victor Mbarika by High Chief Lisa of Idepe, Adekanmi Adegbola on behalf of the traditional ruler of the community, Oba Michael Obatuga.
Eminent personalities who attended the occasion include traditional ruler of Iju Odo community, Okitipupa Local government, Oba Olumoyegun; former Vice- chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta ( FUNAAB), Prof Femi Balogun; former Rector Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo , Prof.Fapetu, Representative of the Vice-Chancellor Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Prof. Ogunduyile, Prof. Francis Igbasan; Principal officers of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo including the Deputy Provost, Dr. Samuel Akintunde; Registrar, Mrs. Olufisayo Fakorede; Bursar, Mr. Ganiyu Abdul and Acting Librarian, Mr Akinade Awoyemi.
Others present include Deans and Directors, Heads of Department and units, Carnegie scholar to the College, Prof. Bridget Teboh ; Caretaker Chairman, Okitipupa Local Government, Hon. Princess Morenike Alaka; Deputy Registrars from ACE, Chairman College of Education Academic Staff Union, ACE chapter, Comrade Tope Oziegbe as well as President ACE students Union, Comrade Abidemi Zubair.
Also present were Permanent Secretary Ondo State Ministry of Information, Dr. Deji Akinwalere; Zonal Education Officer and Tutor General from Okitipupa Local Government; school principals from various secondary schools as well as staff of the ACE Information and Public Relations Unit, Provost's office, Head, Protocol Unit, Mr. Moses Akinfolarin as well as crews from ACE Television among others.