History of government Secondary School (GSS) Afaha Eket

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Brief History of GSS

The emergence of Government Secondary School, Afaha Eket, of today can best be described as that of a child of circumstances. Its origin is traced to the vision of an indigenous educationist by name Chief D. J. Edoho who founded the first secondary school in Eket, Edoho Memorial Grammar School at Ikot Uso Ekong, Eket.

This vision was at a point bound to be terminated by the Nigerian-Biafra Civil War of 1967 – 1970

The absence of the proprietor who had been caught up on the Biafran side of the war had led to the deterioration of the school facilities and the teaching and non-teaching staff being owed several months of salaries.

Shortly, after the war started easing and the then South Eastern State was liberated, the State Government gave a directive that every child should attend the schools nearest to them. This led to an influx of students to the school thereby compounding the already comatose situation of the institution which led to the Government’s decision to close down the school.

It was at this point that the members of the community decided to rise up and salvage the situation. Prominent sons and daughters of Eket pulled resources together through the platform of Eket Development Union and paid the salaries of the staff and procured some necessary equipment to get the school going. This they did through levies which had the men folks paying Five Shillings and the women paying Two Shillings. They also requested from Qua Iboe Church the services of Late Chief J. B. Adiakpan who was then with the Qua Iboe Church Teachers Training College (Q.I.C.T.T.C.), Afaha Eket, for the running of the School which was now known as Eket Secondary School.

Further to these, the community then approached the Government and succeeded in making it change its decision to close the school. Rather, the Government took over the school. Consequently, in 1969, the school was relocated from Ikot Uso Ekong to Afaha Eket (at present day Grace Bill Road) and renamed Government Secondary School with Chief J. B. Adiakpan as the first principal. The relocation of the school had to see the Q.I.C. Teachers Training College being relocated from Afaha Eket to the premises of Onna County Teachers Training College, Ndon Eyo (presently Onna Local Government Area), and in 1987 became Senior Science College.

Worthy of note is the fact that the T.T.C. was previously Grace Bill Institute, one of the popular girls’ schools in the Old Calabar Province. Grace Bill was the wife of the founder of the Qua Iboe Mission; Rev. Samuel Alexander Bill from Belfast, Ireland (1864 – 1942). The site has therefore hosted several institutions as at today: Grace Bill Institute (1928), Q.I.C. Teachers Training College (1950s), Eket Secondary School/Government Secondary School (1969) and presently Q.I.C. Secondary School. In 1977 the school began holding classes at the present site while the dormitories remained at Grace Bill Road. Government Secondary School, Afaha Eket, has historically metamorphosed through the tutelage of private (Late Chief D. J. Edoho), Community (Old Eket Division), missionary (Qua Iboe Church) and public (South Eastern, Cross River and Akwa Ibom States’ Governments) entities.

It was the move by the South-Eastern State Government to turn the school into a comprehensive secondary school with expanded scope of studies that lead to the construction of what was then known as ‘the New Site’ but now the present and only site. It was designed to have modern facilities including state of the arts hostels, library and laboratories of international standard and a composite auditorium requisite of a tertiary institution.

The Chinese say that the best time to have cut down a tree is twenty years ago and the next best time is now. While some say the Alumni Association should have come on stream many years back I dare say that the best time is NOW! The birth of this Alumni Association has come to resuscitate the visions of our heroes past, restore the institution from the present sordid status and to reposition it for our children yet unborn. IN DEO STAMUS!

Courtesy Macarius Samuel Essien (GSS ’78)

Note:

The above summary is based in part on facts handed down by our old teachers (some who are now of blessed memory) and extracts from a publication of the school’s first principal, Late Chief J. B. Adiakpan. 

Reference: Adiakpan, J. B.  The Eket Speaking People  Okjohn Nigeria Ltd.  2000. pages 110 – 114, 126 – 127.

All The Principals of GSSAE From Inception To The Present

Principal Name 

Years Served

Late Chief J. B. Adiakpan

1962 - 1969

Mr. E. S. Etukudo

1969 - 1971

Late Chief B.I. Ekaluo

1971 - 1976

Mr. A. E. Ukpe

1976 - 1978

Mr. Etuk

1978 - 1979

Mr. E.G. Utuk

1979 - 1985

Late Mr. E.O. Akais

1985- 1986

Chief I. A. Inyang

1986- 1989

Late Mr. O.E. Ononokpono

1989 - 1990

Elder O. E. Ikpe

1990 - 1992

Mr. D. B. Asuquo

1992 - 1994

Pst S. A. Ubombang

1994 - 1996

Elder U. U. Anwan

1996 - 2002

Mr. L. E. Odiong

2002 - 2002

Obong I. D. Isine

2002 - 2008

Mr. U. P. Nssien

2008 - 2011

Mr. L.E. Oding

2011 - 2016

Mr. G.J.Utuk

2016 - Present

Staff and Students numbers as at July 2017
  1. Teaching Staff - 44

  2. Non-Teaching - 12

  3. Part-Time Staff - 04

  4. Serving NYSC Members - 96

  5. Students - 4219

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