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The Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà Grammar School was established in January 1955 as a Community Grammar School. It owes its existence to the IJUC. that who first conceived the idea about 1936 when the conference sent a delegation comprising Messers S. A. Fatiregun, T. T. Ojumu, A. A. Esugbongbe, S. K. Ogunseemi, I. O. Fajuyigbe, J. O. Famakinwa and J. O. Aloba to meet the chiefs and the people of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà and win their support for the proposal to found a Community Grammar School.

In 1945, when Mr. A. A. Esugbongbe, came home from Lagos on holidays, received complaints from Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà candidates who, having passed the entrance examination to Ilesa Grammar School, were called for interview but were not finally admitted alleging discrimination. Mr. Esugbongbe reported the allegation to Pa. D. B. Aloba who investigated the allegation and found substance in it. From that time, Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà sons and daughters in Lagos started to collect donations for the proposed Grammar School.

At the IJUC held in 1947, a Secondary School Education Committee was set up. Mr. J. A.Osanyin was the Chairman while Mr. A. A. Esugbongbe was the Secretary. It was decided that a bank account should be opened for the money collected from that date towards the project.

The work of the Education Committee was hindered by the events which followed the death of Oba Amolese I which occurred on 12th December, 1946 and the IJUC had held several meetings with the Chiefs, requesting that the stool be kept vacant until a befitting palace was built and a car purchased for the next Oba. The Obaship crisis that engulfed the community afterwards delayed early progress on the takeoff of the school.

The Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà Progress Association, a collection of young radical elites, grew disappointed with the stagnation that resulted from the indefinite ban on the development in the town. At its inaugural meeting held in St Matthew’s Senior Primary School, in December, 1951, it adopted the strategy of members infiltrating the branches of the IJUC nearest to them with a view to persuading the union members to adopt a positive attitude towards the development of the town especially on education.

New Spirit

The strategy worked a miracle in Ibadan where in 1952 Messrs D. B. Oni and P. O. Ọ̀rúnmúyì enrolled as members of the IJUC Ibadan branch and they were appointed into the key offices of Secretary, and Financial Secretary respectively. The Ibadan members, some of them officers of the IJUC, readily followed the guidance of these new members who were considered seasoned educationists. Ibadan, being the biggest branch, started influencing other branches, and by January 1953, a new spirit had been so kindled in every branch that the annual general meeting of that month was held at home.

On August 21st and 22nd 1953, an emergency meeting of the IJUC was held at the Oke-Bola residence of Pa Emmanuel Onajide. Here the IJUC Executive was dissolved and a new one set up. Pa. D. O. Faboro was elected as the General Secretary of the IJUC to replace Mr. D. O. Awe, the veteran General Secretary of the IJUC. It was prompted by a letter written by Rev. D. A. Yoloye; the Vicar of St. Matthew’s Church, Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà to the effect that a second Grammar School was being proposed by Ilesa and that if that one materialised while we were still sleeping, it might jeopardise our own proposal. At this meeting, serious work was done through sub-committee system. A rough picture of the project with its implementation process was clearly laid out.

At the IJU Annual General meeting of January, 1954, the Education Committee was reconstituted with Mr. J. A. Osanyin as the Chairman and Mr. P. O. Ọ̀rúnmúyì as the Secretary. Two working groups were set up; one at home headed by Rev. D. A. Yoloye to acquire land and start work on the first classroom block; the other at Ibadan headed by Mr. P. O. Ọ̀rúnmúyì assisted by Mr. D. B. Oni, to find a Principal and deal with the Ministry of Education in matters relating to approval to start the school.

Attempt to get land first considered suitable for use did not succeed, but when contacted, Chief Loye Jegede readily gave out about 42 acres; a token gift of ten pounds with a bottle of schnapps was presented as traditional gift.

The two working groups surmounted all problems and having satisfied all conditions prescribed by the Ministry of Education in respect of building, appointment of Principal and finance via a letter Ref. No. IV/3/333/10 of 6th October 1954, the Director of Education, Western Region of Nigeria, granted permission for a single stream secondary school to open in January 1955.

The school opened on January 18th1955 under the principalship of Mr. C. O. Komolafe and B. A. Dunelm, who was released to Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà by Ilesa Grammar School.
The formal opening ceremony took place on Saturday, July 30, 1955. It was preceded by a religious service conducted by Ven. (Later Bishop) I. G. A. Jadesimi, Ven. (later Bishop M. A. Osanyin) and Rev. D. A. Yoloye. The Minister of Education was represented by his parliamentary Secretary, Mr. Kessington Momoh. It was a festive day for citizens of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà who came from various towns to witness the occasion.
A thanksgiving service took place at St. Matthew’s Church Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà the following day, Sunday, July 31st 1955. It was attended by all denominations including Muslims. Ven. M. A. Osanyin preached the sermon using Nehemiah 4:6 as his text.

Fifty-Eight Years Later

At the time of going to press, Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà Grammar School was fifty-eight years old on 18th January 2013. In fact, a lot of water has passed under the bridge as the saying goes. Buildings and physical plants of all sorts have multiplied several times over those on the ground in 1955 when the school was founded. Parents Teachers Association have erected new blocks of classrooms too.

Thanks to the Old Students and the Parents Teachers Association for their very invaluable contributions to the development of this school. A couple of years ago, the entire roof of the science laboratory caved in, and as a result of this, the science laboratory was unusable for some time. The old student’s association rose to the occasion and contributed substantial sums of money to reroof the science laboratory, dug a deep well, constructed toilets, as well as equipped the library with books and journals. Scholarships and bursaries have been awarded to the students by several old students from time to time on yearly basis. Also, a befitting welcoming frontal gate with the inscription of the name of the school was constructed by the old student’s association.

The school laboratory was recently refurbished and equipped with science equipment worth millions of Naira donated to the school by the Old Student’s Association in the Diasporas and the Rotary Club International. An Old Student gave the school a deep well with an overhead tank, pumping machine and other accessories. Indeed, in Ijesaland, apart from Ilesa Grammar School Old Student’s Association, hardly could any other old students body hold its alma mater so dearly as the old students of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà Grammar School.

The Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) is another organ that needs our attention in this write up. Over the years, the efforts of this body have gone a long way to keep the school afloat. The first School Bedford lorry was donated by the PTA. Not long after this a sixty-seater Toyota bus was also donated by this same body. The fence wall, which enclosed the entire school buildings, was provided through the PTA levies. From time to time, teaching staff quota in the school was always augmented through the efforts of the PTA who employ teachers and pay them regularly. “

At present the school has produced more than 11,700 students (2003) passing out in flying colours after spending five or six years of hard work, many of whom are now Medical Doctors, Professors, Bankers, Industrialists, Business Magnates, High Court Judges, Engineers etc.
In concluding this brief history, great tribute has to be paid to the founding fathers – The Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà Union Conference under the respected leadership of Pa. D. B. Aloba; The Secondary Education Committee under the able Chairmanship of Mr. J. A. Osanyin.·The key officers of both the Conference and its Education Committee; indefatigable Rev. D.A. Yoloye, Chief Priest Loye Jegede who donated the land; and the numerous individuals who contributed their time and money for the realisation of this dream of freeing our children from discrimination in matters of seeking admission into schools outside Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà.

The glory the school had achieved could not be completed if the past Principals had not been committed to the goals of the founding fathers of the school.

The past principals include:

  1. Mr. C. O. Komolafe (1955-1962)
  2. Mr. Z. A. Ogunmola (Jan-Dec. 1963)
  3. Mr. P. O. Orunmuyi (1964-1972)
  4. Mr. E. A. Iyanda (1973-1975)
  5. Mr. S. A. Adewole (1975-1982)
  6. Mr. I. O. Orolugbagbe (1982-1984)
  7. Mr. Olowokure (1984-1999)
  8. Mr. G. A. Adesina (April-Dec. 1991)
  9. Mr. M. O. Saseun (1992-1994)
  10. Rev. B.A. Fakankun (1995-2000)
  11. Chief M.O. Fadere (2001-2005)
  12. Pastor P.O. Oyewale (2008—2012)
  13. Mr. J. O. Ayeni (2012-Date).

Notably, the on-going re-classification of schools in the State of Osun has further impacted on the school as the school is now renamed ‘Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà High School’.

(ÌJÈBÚ-ÈGBÒRÒ, City Set On The Hill)

Researched by:
Rev. (Dr.) G.O. ÈKÉMODÉ
J. Olásebìkan ÒNÍ
Chief Victor A. FÁTÍRÈGÚN

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