Martin Beck Nworah Tuesday, October 04, 2016 9
(The giant strides of Fr. Martin Ikeagu as Manager of St. Anthony of Padua High School)
Rev Fr. Martin Obum Ikeagu is the manager of St. Anthony of Padua High School Nkpor and within a limited period of taking over the management of the institution; he has shown in clear and practical terms, his resolve in making the school one of the best secondary schools in Anambra State and by extension, Nigeria.
I have closed followed the activities of Fr. Martin for the past 12 years after our paths crossed in 2004 and I can authoritatively say, he is one man with vision and passion to train and develop young people who will impact positively in this nation. In this short piece, I wish to highlight some of the notable achievements of this great personality and how he is shaping tomorrow for our children.
The St. Anthony of Padua High School was founded by late Rev Fr. M. Udegbunam on October 3rd, 1997. The intention of setting up the school was to train teenagers in their secondary stage of education and give them a sound moral and academic background which is mostly obtained through faith owned institutions. This is the reason why the Anambra State government under former Governor Peter Obi, returned the ownership of schools to the churches for effective and proper management. Taking over the affairs of the institution, Fr. Martin has recorded many giant strides and is steadily contributing his quota in shaping this tomorrow in line with the good and noble ideals of His Grace, Valerian M. Okeke.
|A teacher, Queen of the school,Archbishop Val Okeke and Fr. Martin Ikeagu|
In August of 2014, burning with passion to improve the academic life of his students and teachers, Fr. Martin visited Greensboro Day school, NC with Dr. Victor Archibong and Mr. Don Okafor. The purpose of the visit to the renowned American high school was to fashion out working strategies for synergy between the two institutions (St. Anthony High School and Greensboro Day school). The meeting was successful as it yielded many positive fruits in the training of the teachers back in Nigeria and raising breast cancer awareness for the girl child in the high school. All these were made possible through the diligence, tenacity and administrative focus of Fr. Martin Ikeagu.
In shaping tomorrow, Fr. Martin is leading by example and showing his students and teachers that in simple things, you gain expertise and progress. Riding on the back of this assertion, students are exposed to a wide array of creative activities to help in improving their talents. From career day where students show what they were able to create and to musical instruments training, he is making sure that his students are found worthy in learning and behavior at the end of their studies.
There is also an academic motivation day to help the students in keeping tabs with their studies. We all know that there’s always a time when motivation for studies is very low and many students don’t know who to reach out to during these times. Recognizing the dangers posed by this and the harm it could do to the academic life of his students, Fr. Martin instituted the academic motivation day to inspire his students to be more focused and share their academic worries. How else is tomorrow shaped if not by paying attention to the integral formation of your students?
One of the major and gigantic infrastructural developments taking shape within the compounds of St. Anthony of Padua High school is the new library building. When completed, the complex will be equipped with state of the art digital facilities to aid the students in research and reading methodology. With book supplies already in their millions, the new library will surely be amongst the best in Anambra state. The visionary leadership of Fr. Martin Ikeagu is indicative of a man filled with determination and passion to see that young people are trained to become shining lights for our nation. With his students graduating from this high school, parents are rest assured that training their children at St. Anthony’s high school is a good investment in the right institution.
A great lover of Arsenal football club and the Igbo culture, Fr. Martin Ikeagu has over time, proven his onions as a worthy administrator, a pastor of souls and a role model for thousands of his parishioners and students at St Anthony of Padua Nkpor. Today, we celebrate a man in whose hands, tomorrow is being shaped positively for our children at St. Anthony’s high school Nkpor.
I hope to meet him again and fashion out ways I can bring in my wealth of creative knowledge in contributing to the growth and development of his students.
Till we get to the Promised Land, I shall be waiting for when you will pass me a glass of water and thank God for the gift of grace for the race.