DISCIPLINE IN OSANYIN'S TIME
Offa Gramrnar School students from the inception of the school have been highly disciplined. And in those days, the boys and girls were among the best disciplined students found in the school system in Nigeria.. The Principal being a highly principled and disciplined person had no difficulty in instilling these qualities in his staff and students alike. He also knew every student by his or her first name, and as such it was easy for him to identify who was doing what. Under Mr Osanyin, it was very easy to produce academically sound students and disciplined citizens. He frowned at the few cases of indiscipline that came to his attention, and took drastic measures to curb them. He didn't spare mischief- and noise-makers, truants, gossips, loafers during prep classes etc. A review of the logbook kept "religiously" by him showed the cases of students' indiscipline during his tenure and the punishments meted out.
Students were allowed to participate in recreational activities and excursions under the auspices of recognized school clubs albeit in moderation.
SPORTS UNDER OSANYIN
As a very good sportsman himself who once represented St. Andrew's College, Oyo in inter-college competitions as a high-jumper, Mr Osanyin encouraged sports by dividing the students into 'house" groups to allow for healthy competitions. The boys were engaged in football matches with other Secondary Schools such as Ogbornosho Grammar School, llesha Grammar School and Government College Ilorin. As the sporting facilities improved, the school started to participate in the inter collegiate competitions organised in Kaduna. It was at such meetings that Sanusi Olagunju alias "skipper Wale" emerged as the champion in one of the long distance races in the fifties. Faweya was a great short-distance runner Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 100 to 400 yards. For 880 yards and the mile, Afolabi Olawoye was the champion. Fatoke became the High Jumper for the Northern Region in 1963. By the 50s through the 60s therefore, the school had already become a force to reckon with in sports. The school's football team also recorded victory at most of their outings. In 1963, the team defeated almost all teams they met, as shown below from the records:
|Titcornbe College, Egbe||1-0||Won|
|St. Augustine, Kabba||2-0||Won|
|Offa Town XI||5-1||Won|
|Ogbomosho Grammar School||5-1||Won|
With the solid foundation for good sports already laid under Principal Osanyin, the school continued to record victory at sporting events even under the successive headship of Mr. Adelowo through to Mr Arowosaiye.
SCHOOL BUILDINGS AND OTHER FACILITIES IN OSANYIN'S ERA
Mr. J.A. Osanyin met only one uncompleted building at OGS. He not only completed it, but erected several others. The layout of the compound and the design of the buildings were done under his supervision. Money for the building was raised through school fees, grants from ODU and the Regional Government. He once recalled that, a 'special grant' of £20,000.00 was given to the school by the Regional Government to erect four buildings, namely: the Principal's Office, Assembly Hall, Staff Quarters, and a block of classrooms'. It was to his credit, however, that the grant was spread to cover the cost of a few additional buildings including the Principal's House and two dormitories. Because of this prudence, it was not too difficult for him to get additional Ã‚Â£10,000 when he requested for more money to complete all the projects. This enabled all the boarding students to move from their rented apartments into the school compound in 1956. The hostels and the Assembly Hall were named after Olofa of Offa, Mr Ajayi, Rev Ludlow and Rev Wilberforce (who fought for the abolition of the slave trade). The school was beautifully landscaped and adorned with flowers and shrubs.
Before 1956, apart from Mathematics and Geography, only arts subjects of various awkward combinations were taught. This changed with the building of science laboratories, and with Messrs FK Marshall and JF Faluyi taking charge of teaching of science subjects of Chemistry, Biology and Physics.
The physical structure and academic pursuit of the school were boosted in 1965 when a library well- stocked, with over 3000 books, was opened. In the same year a dual-purpose wood/metal workshop was also built.
Before the arrival of Mr. Osanyin, the admission policy of the school reflected "national character", but based on merit. In fact, right from year 1 in 1943, the admission of students had never been localised to Offa alone. Pupils from far and wide were admitted. This admission policy was given more prominence under Mr. Osanyin. He sought and got permission from Ilorin Provincial Education Office to extend his catchment areas to the old Kabba, Oyo, and Ekiti Provinces. In spite of this, only one stream was maintained until 1953 when two streams were introduced. The students were usually admitted through a standard entrance examination.
Many Igbo boys and other non-Yoruba, whose parents worked at the Nigerian Railway Corporation and other Federal Parastatals, e.g., P&T were admitted. This gave the school a "Federal Charaeter", e.g. Ojeahare Stephen (mid Western Region), Coker Olugbemi Olalekan (Western Region), Oyanoye Isaiah Agboola (Northern Region) and Mgbatogu Clement Chuks (Eastern Region) were all in the 1964 set.
In 1961, the Offa Descendants Union - the mouth piece of Offa indigenes - suggested that the Principal should admit girls to the school - thus making it co-educational. He accepted, but that meant additional administrative problems for him, such as separate accommodation for the girls, moderated and disciplined interaction between male and female students, and employing the services of a competent house matron, etc. Mr. Osanyin solved all these problems wonderfully well and with Military precision. He admitted twelve girls into Form 1 in that year to give effect to an introduction of a co-educational system in the school.
Bosede Fakeye, a pioneer female student, in a narration recalled the experience of part of their first day in school thus "time for evening meal came, and the mistress asked us to take our cutlery and go to the dining hall for our meal. We went half-way and came back again, for we could not enter the hall, as we were shy. When we finally did, we were too shy to eat. The twelve of us went back to our dormitory without even opening our dishes"!
Right from the onset the school had been having excellent results from external examinations. Both the teachers and students have always been noted to work hard. Mr. Osaryin "a born teacher and administrator" made it possible to have all the needed affordable facilities, and he provided a conducive atmosphere for teaching and effective learning. Professor M.D. Oyawoye, one of the pioneer students, rernarked that even before the arrival of Osanyin, the standard in the School could be favourably compared with those of Govemment College, Ibadan. However, the arrival of Osanyin enhanced the quality of performance of the school.
Since 1951 in particular, the academic performance of the students became high, and this climaxed in 1956 when all the students registered for the West African School Certificate Examinations (WASCE) passed, thus recording the first 100% success in WASCE. In 1957, forms 5 & 6 were merged to sit for the WASC, thus ending the six-year programme for the WASC examination. Throughout Mr. Osanyin's tenure as Principal, the performance of the school at the WASCE was all the way very impressive.
Mr. Abioye Oyeleke recalled how Mr. Osanyin overcame the school's shortfall in qualified teachers through the enlisting of the services of undergraduates from the then University College of Ibadan during their long vacation. Among the undergraduates were Mr, (now Prof) Olumuyiwa Awe who taught Physics, Mr. (now Dr.) MO Omolayole (Mathematics); and Mr. O Olumide (Geography and Physical Education).