Archbishop Heerey Technical Secondary school Ogidi, is one of the schools established by the missionaries and the first technical school to be established in the old Eastern Region of Nigeria. Ogidi. The missionaries had the practice not only of creating mission stations but also establishment of schools as a means of evangelization of the people particularly children and youth. Hence, the school Archbishop Heerey Technical School was established in 1966 by the then Archbishop of Onitsha, Archbishop Charles Heerey of blessed memory, an Irish missionary. The school took its name from the founder and functioned as a technical school until after the civil war when its name and vision was changed.

General Background of the school

Archbishop Charles Heerey established many schools in the Archdiocese prior to 1966 which were mainly conventional or grammar schools as they were called at that time. However, this dedicated, energetic and visionary Archbishop noticed that the people had great potentials in the area of technical skills, and he took the bull by the horn by establishing the first technical school in Ogidi. The decision to establish a technical school in Ogidi was made possible by the generous disposition of the people of Odida village in Ogidi, who provided a very large expanse of land to the Church for the building of the school. Archbishop Charles Heerey worked untiringly with his collaborators (Rev. Fathers, Sisters and Lay leaders) who were very few at that time and God blessed their missionary endeavors. Hence the pioneer principal of the school was also a missionary priest Rev. Fr. Cunningham of blessed memory. The pioneer students arrived in the January of 1967 and began their educational pursuits, in various aspects of technical training particularly metal construction and wood making technology.

The school started with great hopes and high level of Church-community partnership. However, the village could only provide land and their goodwill in support of the project. At that time poverty was widespread; there were no finances to support educational institutions or provide adequate facilities. The Church was really the hope of the people. The founder Archbishop Charles Heerey made serious efforts to see that classrooms were constructed that there was technical workshop that hostels, refectory and necessary infrastructures were provided for the training of the students.

Historical Challenge:

However, not long after the school took off, political crisis started in the country around 1967 which led eventually to the unfortunate civil war with its devastations. After the war, the Federal government of Nigeria expelled all missionaries from the Southeast while at same time the regional government forcefully took over all schools belonging to the missions and those establish by other private individuals. With the government takeover, decay gradually set in especially with regard to the management of schools. The name of the school was changed from Archbishop Heerey Technical Secondary School Ogidi to Boys Secondary School Ogidi which occasioned the loss of the original technical education vision of the school, which suffered neglect and infrastructural decay.

Fortunately, the school began a new history when in 2009, the State Government returned all the schools forcefully taken from the missions and private individuals back to their original owners. With this arrangement, the Archdiocese of Onitsha took over once again the management of the school with a renewed effort to regain the past glories of the institution. Recently, with the effort of the current Archbishop Most Rev. Valerian Okeke the original name of the school has been restored as Archbishop Heerey Technical Secondary School Ogidi.

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