By Adenawoola Olanrewaju
The south western part of Nigeria is known, noted and identified as the source of western education from which other parts/tribes got inspiration to acquire western education.
Western education was a major cardinal programme of the Action Group, the then dominant political party of the progressives in the western part of Nigeria.
The formation of the Action Group as a political group, which incidentally took place in Owo, had a son of the soil, in person of Chief Adekunle Ajasin, an educationist and community leader, as a staunch member. He was said to be the one that prepared the education policy paper on free education for the entire Western Region.
In view of his background knowledge about Education and fore sight, the late sage and politician got convinced of the need to establish another college to complement the only existing one (the then Imade College) to care for the educational needs of the people of Owo District.
Owo High School, Owo, started in a cocoa produce store donated by the late business mogul, Rev. Canon. Jide Ola Fagboyegun, on the 18th day of January, 1963 at the Oke-Ogun part of the town with a total of sixty (60) students (42 boys and 18 girls) under the leadership of Chief Adekunle Ajasin as the pioneer principal, and Fola Bamidele as the first head boy with Miss Biola Aladesuru now Mrs. Adeniyi, as head girl.
The school that adopted the uniform of an all-white shirt and shorts for boys and gown for girls until 1968 when it was changed to white and red stripes shirt and gray short for boys and red and white stripes gown for girls allowed a reduction in school fees for female students to encourage girl child education.
The first set of teaching staff of the school were Mr. J.O. Omogbeja, Miss Theresa Bolaji Adetula and Chief Ajasin as the principal and proprietor while Chief George Adetula, the Sasere of Owo was the first Chairman, Board of Governors of the school.
The school in 1964 moved from the temporary site of cocoa store to the present permanent site on an expanse of land donated by Chief Adeloye, the Aboluwodi of Owo Kingdom, who was a cousin to Chief Ajasin, the founder of the College. It was placed on the list of public schools by the government of Western Region as a result of its exceptional performance in terms of academic excellence just after eight (8) years of existence as the pioneer set sat for the West African School Certificate Examination in 1967.
In 1983, the Ondo State Government introduced secondary education for the visually impaired students from the school of the blind in Owo with a set of four students: Idris Sikiru Olusegun, Agbaje Jimoh, Dauda Ojo and Filani Emmanuel in the college.
The school, in recognition of the support and sacrifices made by few men in the community, decided to name the four sporting houses of the college after Chief Adekunle Ajasin, Chief Adeloye Aboluwode, Rev Jide Fagboyegun and Chief George Adetula.
The school that was built on discipline and academic excellence since inception in 1960 has produced great men and women who are making waves in their chosen fields of endeavors and contributing meaningfully to the development of Nigeria and the world.
Kudos goes to the set of principals which include late Chief Adekunle Ajasin (the pioneer principal), late Mr R. A. Bankole (1975 – 1976), late Chief J.T Asaniyan 1(1976 – 1984), late Mr. S. Olu Adeyeri (1984 – 1993), Alhaji J. A Omoloja (1993 – 2000), Late Mr. S. O. Adewumi (2000 – 2001), late Mr. D. N. Oloro (2001 – 2009), Mr. A.A. Salami (2009 – 2011), Mr. C.O. Oluodo (2011 – 2013), High Chief A. A. Aladeseye (2013 – 2018), Mr. B.O. Obameso (2018 -2021), and Mr. T. Alaba George, the first alumni to head the school (2022 – till date) for their selfless effort to build the destinies of men in the last sixty-years.
It is heartwarming that various self-sponsored projects have been undertaken by various sets of the college to give the school a new look in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the great citadel of learning, which can best be described as an enduring legacy bequeathed on the present generation by great men of foresight of yester-years.
All is now set to celebrate 60 years of excellence and great exploits by setting aside a week of celebration (November 6–11 2023) witnessing media briefing on Monday November 7,Feast Day on Wednesday November 8, Rally on Thursday November 9, Career Day, Jumat Service and football match on November 10, Official Commissioning of Projects and symposium on November 11, while all the activities will come to an end with a thanksgiving service on Sunday November 12, at St. Andrew’s Cathedral Church, Owo.
Director, Information Services,
Ondo State Ministry of Information & Orientation.