St. Pius Xth Grammar School, Onicha-Ugbo bounced back to reckoning Saturday when it celebrated the passing out of its first set of SS3 and JS3 students at a colourful graduation and prize giving day ceremony since the school was handed back to missionary owners by the Delta State Government.
At the ceremony that held in the brand new school chapel, built by the old boys who equally showed visible presence of solidarity with the school management, the Principal of the school, Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Anthony Banye said the graduation ceremony was such a special occasion, the culmination of years hard work; the actualization of goals attained and the acknowledgment of successes achieved.
Pointing out that it’s fitting to commemorate that day as a way of recalling the experience of the last few years, Fr. Banye said: “Who can forget when we all came together for the first time – nervous young students in JSS1, proud parents, and a dedicated staff body? What an anxious and hope-full beginning it was, signaling what would be the start of wonderful things to come? Yes, we all came together with a common purpose in mind – to encourage and develop lifelong learning in the young gentlemen who sit before us this morning.
“Steadfast, resolute and determined, we all kept together. Day-by-day, we focused on our goal, keeping together. We faced some incredible and memorable moments – moments that we chose to use as stepping stone as we tenaciously pursued our common goals.”
The school’s principal hinted that in the 2018 Diocesan Mathematics competition one of the students in the junior secondary category came first and that in the 2019 edition, the school came in the first position, while in the 2020 edition, the students that represented the school emerged first in both SS1 and SS2 and second in the Jss2 category. “Our BECE results have always been one of the best in Delta State since we came on board four years ago,” Rev. Fr. Banye said.
While congratulating the out-going students, he said: “In St. Pius, we aim to transform lives, by the creation, sharing and application of knowledge. To the fore of that are you, have experienced that sense of transformation I hope that in your years here. You will have gained new knowledge and skills that you can now take into the world and I am sure you have made new friends too. You cross this stage today with the next stage of your life before you, and I hope your time here at St. Pius has equipped you to take that step with confidence and a spirit of adventure – to be bold, to be creative, to be innovative and to make your own impact.
“This is the most important day in our academic calendar. Seeing you, our new graduates, cross the stage after your years of dedication and hard work is a proud moment for us all, as I’m sure it is for all of you, and for the family and friends here to support you today.
Awards and prizes were given to deserving establishments, individuals, women and old boys of the school.
UBA Foundation top the list of awardees for outstanding contribution to the infrastructure development of St. Pius Xth Grammar School, Onicha-Ugbo. The Citation reads: “An ever dependable corporate body that has partnered the school in its infrastructure development efforts. The UBA Foundation has built and donated a large multi-purpose building complex, as well as a 50-bed space hostel, fully equipped to the school. The much improved water availability in the school community presently, is the product of the modern bore-hole fully funded by the UBA Foundation.
“It is to the utmost happiness of everyone that all the once sandy and bumpy roads within the school are now smoothly tarred courtesy of the unrelenting show of interest by the UBA Foundation in infrastructure development of St. Pius Xth Grammar School. We salute you with this exciting partnership with a deserving award of the prize of an Outstanding Contribution to the infrastructure development of our school.”
The Onicha-Ugbo Ladies’ League, was described as a group of ladies whose elegance transcends beauty and humility. According to the citation, they are the mothers of the school personified, resourceful and passionate. “Long before the school transitioned from Junior Secondary School to the Senior Secondary School, Onicha-Ugbo Ladies League refurbished the highly deteriorated storey building in the school, beautified its surroundings and handed it over to the school community. Today, the only storey building in the school houses our students and teachers as classrooms and staff room respectively. We salute you for this enduring show of motherly care and love with a deserving award of the prize of an outstanding contribution to the infrastructure development of our school,” the citation stated.
The Class ’82 of the St. Pius Xth Old Boys Association (SPOBA) built “a befitting house for God’, a chapel when the school community yearned for one. “As often as necessary, the school community congregates in the chapel to nurture our collective spiritual essence. We salute you for this wonderful show of generosity and support with a deserving award of the prize of an outstanding contributor to infrastructure development of our dear school.”
The former Minister of state for Petroleum, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, who is also the Odogwu of Onicha-Ugbo was honoured with the award of outstanding contribution to the infrastructure development of St. Pius Xth Grammar School. “Dr. Ibe Kachikwu worked behind the scene to secure a project that will hopefully facilitate the turning out of a generation of self-reliant citizens from the school. He mobilized and deployed his wits to win a competitive battle. The result is the sprawling, fenced building complex, housing all the functional laboratories for the sciences in the school. Donated by ‘NNPC/PUPNI and Partners’, it is to his credit that our school was privileged to enjoy the patronage. We salute you Odogwu of onicha-Ugbo, for your uncommon demonstration of commitment with a deserving award of the prize of an outstanding contribution to the infrastructure development of our great school.”
Also, major General Fejokwu Lawrence, an old boy of the school received an award for outstanding contribution also in the category of infrastructure development. His citation reads: “An indefatigable officer of the Nigerian Army, who was moved by the prevailing security challenges in the country, especially as it affects secondary school. His dream had long been to secure the boundaries of St. Pius Xth Grammar School, Onicha-Ugbo, with a concrete fence. The fresh air of security the school is presently savouring is the result of the concrete fence bounding the school, which was fully funded by him.
“Marauding trespassers are now kept away from the school compound. As if that is not enough, he put the icing on the cake by refurbishing a highly disfigured four-classroom building, which has greatly enhanced the aesthetics of the school. It also houses a staff room and three classrooms. We salute you with a deserving award of the prize of an outstanding contributor to the development of the school for using our school as a model to demonstrate military-community partnership in infrastructure development.”
Highlight of the event was the entertainment in cultural dance, drama and choir presentation by the students.