The government and people of Anambra State are elated at the taking off of a Jesuit Secondary School in Anambra State.
According to the State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C. Don Adinuba, the school, named Gonzaga Jesuit College, will start in Okija, Ihiala Local Government Area, in September, this year.
The Commissioner stated that it is the fourth Jesuit Secondary School in Nigeria, with the other three located in Rivers State, Lagos State and the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.
A statement signed by the Information Commissioner explained that the establishment of the fourth Jesuit college in Anambra State is an articulate testimony to the premium which the state has placed on education. He also described it as a testimony of the cooperation between the state government with the church and the private sector to develop the state to global standards as quickly as possible.
The Commissioner further noted that Governor Willie Obiano visited Gonzaga Jesuit College two years ago when it was under construction and commended the three leading promoters, namely, Dr Ernest Azudalu-Obiejesi of ObiJackson Group and his wife, Mrs Nnenna Obiejesi, as well as Engineer Paul Erinne, a philanthropist from Okija, who also built and donated the Erinne Block at Paul University in Awka, among other philanthropic gestures.
The Anambra Information Commissioner observed that the excellent security in the state, which has in the last five years enabled billions of dollars in investment flow into the state, facilitated the building of the new school in Okija which is of global standard.
The college is named after St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a young Jesuit who is considered the Patron Saint of Youth. Aloysius was undergoing studies for the priesthood when a plague broke out in Rome. The young Aloysius poured out his life, caring for the sick, and eventually died on June 21, 1591, at the age of 23.
Mr Adinuba said that Gonzaga Jesuit College in Okija, whose entrance examination will hold on Saturday, March 27, will help deepen Anambra State’s reputation as far the educationally most competitive state in Nigeria.
The Jesuit Superior General, Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, S.J., while giving approval to the Jesuit school in Okija, explained that the Jesuit educational goal, “is not just to educate, but to form people of depth – intellectually, spiritually, and psychologically. Our mission is to form people who are open to change, who exercise aptitude for personal conversion and social transformation.
The Jesuits’ colleges in Nigeria are Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja; Jesuit Memorial College, Port Harcourt; and Saint Francis Catholic Secondary School, Idimu, Lagos.