FR. EMEKA C. ASOGWA, SJ
FR. EMEKA C. ASOGWA, SJ
At Jesuit Memorial College, ours is a song of gratitude which springs out of the conviction that the future of JMC is indeed bright because of the immense support we receive from the Province Curia, our benefactors, men, women, and cooperate organisation since its establishment in 2013. So far, the first phase of the ongoing construction work is already achieved. We are now on the second phase, which comprises the construction of the boys’ dormitory, science laboratory, sick-bay, playing field, chapel, and classroom block for Senior Secondary School II & III, and the religious communities (Jesuits and Sisters’ residences). One will agree that the current economic downturn in the country poses a big challenge to any construction of this magnitude. But as the Tortoise says to his children: patience and hard work are important virtues because whatever is hot today will definitely cool off someday! As an institution, we need this wise word as we navigate this turbulent time of infrastructural development amidst economic hardship.
So far, the work at the new boys’ dormitory is fully completed (since October 2016), with a modern gas-powered hot-water-shower in place, first of its kind in the Province. The project has so far cost JMC about half a Billion Naira.
More so, the work at the Science block and Senior Secondary II and III classroom blocks are equally completed. The painting of these two blocks are ongoing at present. Notably, we have so far spent about two hundred million naira for the two buildings. Apart from these major construction works in boys dormitory, science and class room blocks, there a tremendous structural, and human development within the period under review. Some of these include: an additional students’ toilet block, a three bedroom farm house, a link walkway connecting all the JMC classroom and laboratory buildings, and a ramp for handicap (wheelchair access), in view to navigating the entire blocks at ease. Also, we have acquired numerous appliances like projectors for all the classrooms, computers for the second ICT laboratory, science and basic technology equipment, and a gradual stocking of the Library with recommended and required texts books.
Unarguably, our elders say that when a squirrel eats ripe palm fruits, it usually puts its tail on an unripe ones, hence we anxiously gather momentum (financial readiness) to commencing the construction of the JMC multi-purpose hall. This will enable us mange the impending space crisis which we may encounter next academic session (September 2017) when the new Basic 7 (class of 2023) will join the JMC community. Clearly, the multi-purpose hall is indeed very important at this stage of our structural development given the space constraints we now encounter with regards to worship space and social events (visiting Sundays). The dining hall which so far has served us as a dining space, worship space and social gathering arena will be overstretched in terms of its original capacity by the next academic session. Some of the construction works in this phase II, like the athletic sport complex, clinic, and Jesuits and Sisters’ residences hope take off once the construction of the multi-purpose hall is completed.
Aside the JMC structural development, our staff improvement and just remuneration plans require adequate attention. The current economic difficulty facing Nigeria makes it obvious that our staff deserve more than we currently pay them if we hope to retain our competent staff in view to enhancing students’ performances in internal and external exams. In the same vein, JMC management feel our mission as Jesuits remains inadequate and sectorial if the yelling of the poor and needy in our society is not given due consideration. Notably, a good portion of our society still live below the poverty line. As such, tuition in JMC, though relatively lower than what other private schools in this region charge, is beyond reach to many children from poor income families. Hence, the NEED- BASED-SCHOLARSHIP scheme of 100 Million Naira becomes paramount important on our next year planning in view to enabling children from low and poor income families benefit from our Jesuit education.
On the population growth, JMC is currently accepting the candidates for the next academic year (class of 2023). So far the enrolment processes are on the way after a successful entrance exams last month. At present over eighty students have accepted the provisional admission into Basic 7. However, the current population of JMC community (JMC students, Loyola academy pupils, staff, and support staff) is put at 360 secondary school students, 67 primary school pupils, and 143 staff. No doubt, JMC barely three years old has metamorphosed into a prominent Jesuit high school around the State and beyond. For instance, in the last May/June 2016 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), two JMC students scored thirteen straight A’s, out of fourteen registered subjects. Notably, the two students were tripped by Igbo language where both of them scored a credit each. In general JMC students recorded a 100% pass in the BECE, 2016. The current 2017 BECE is currently ongoing and we hope for a remarkable outing for our students. We conclude on a happy note that one of the JMC students was the overall national best debater in the just concluded OANDO Teen Can Cook competition organized in Lagos. In the same vein, two of our students scored 100 and 96 percent respectively in this year COWBELLPEDIA Mathematics Competition, thus qualified to represent Rivers State in the national level. The achievement so far seen is a ‘Hopeful’sign, because as Jesuits, magis is our watch word, always ‘rowing into the deep,’ hence we believe that in JMC there are better days ahead, because we are indeed Hope RE-BORN!
BRO.OSARETIN T. JONAH, SJ
It has been my privilege as the founding principal of JMC to have been involved in the building of the JMC infrastructure, the faculty and the student body.
Key to my work in these early years of the college, was the formation of the faculty staff in the values, vision and mission of the college, which is in operationalized terms, the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm. Our focus therefore has been to get the faculty to become familiar with the Ignatian pedagogical paradigm, a practical framework that is consistent with and effective in communicating the Ignatian values and worldview. The faculty staff, regardless of discipline, can utilize this approach to make their teaching academically sound and at the same time formative of persons for others.
With regard to the students, I have tried to apply the Ignatian injunction that principals strive to know their pupils well to be able to direct and govern them, as well as to guide them better into the paths of the Lord. I have tried to push that all Ignatian educators of the JMC community really get to know their pupils as well as possible, to know what makes them tick, to know their capabilities, and to challenge them to be the best versions of themselves academically and in many other areas of school life.
We promote the use of honour and merit roll to motivate students to make greater effort in their academic work. Academic performance and exam results are really important but also, especially in a boarding school, how an individual grows and develops as a character spiritually and emotionally is just as important.