Idia College is one of the pioneer education centers in the Benin City geographical area and is renowned for its commitment to educating the girl child.
When the Mid-Western Region was created, many employees in the Federal Civil Service and other Regions relocated to Benin City.
It therefore became necessary to establish a Government-owned “All Female” Secondary (High School) to cater for the academic needs of Girls, who otherwise would have attended the Queen’s College Lagos, or Queen’s School Ibadan.
Consequently, the then Military Governor of the Mid-Western State – Brigadier (Dr.) S.O. Ogbemudia founded Queen Idia College Benin City in January 1973.
The School was mid-wifed by the dynamic Commissioner of Education Chief Tayo Akpata.
It was a full-fledged one-stop School for both Junior and Higher School Education with state-of-the art facilities.
The Secondary School ranged from Form 1- to Form 5 (6th – 10th Grade) after which the Students sat for the highly competitive Ordinary Level West African School Certificate Examinations with their counterparts all over West Africa.
In addition, they also had the privilege and the option of taking the General Certificate of Education (GCE) as a back-up.
Successful Students had the privilege and the option of either going into the University (College) for Preliminary undergraduate Courses or continuing the Advanced Level (A’Levels) Classes in Idia College.
The A’Levels (Advanced Level) or the HSC (Higher School Certificate) Classes was a 2 year Course in Idia College (akin to the 11th & 12th Grade)
These additional 2 years were College Preparatory. It helped to mature and prepare Students for life on the Campus. At the end of the 2 years, the Students also took the highly competitive HSC Examinations the success of which qualified them for University admissions.
These sets of Idia College Students were qualified as O’levels and A’levels Students.
The styles of their School Uniforms and House Dresses were different to differentiate the Junior Girls from the Senior Girls.
Idia College had both Day School and Boarding Options.
There were 7 Residential Dormitories that housed the O’Level Students and 2 Cubicles that housed the A’Levels Students.
The A’levels Students had the responsibilities of being Student Leaders viz: Senior Prefect (the highest Student Leadership Role), the Assistant Senior Prefect, House Prefects, Assistant House prefects, Social Prefects, Dining Hall Prefect, Dining Table Prefects (they sat with and supervised their particular Table usually with a seating of about 10 O’levels Students, the serving of food, ensured table manners and proper use and positioning of Cutlery at Meal times), Class Prefects (they supervised each Class at Prep time – the beginning to the end of Prep and ensured Students dismissed to the Games Field after the Afternoon Prep or retired to their Dormitories after the Evening Prep) etc.
All the House Prefe
cts and their Assistants were supervised and they reported directly to their individual House Mistresses who were automatically part of the female academic Teaching Staff of the School.
2 Senior School Students served as House Prefect and Assistant in the Dormitories and resided with the Junior School Students permanently in the Dormitories.
Each Dormitory had an assigned Teaching Female Staff as its Residential House Mistress.
The School’s Senior Prefect and all other Prefects reported directly to the School Principal or the Vice-Principal.
The O’levels Students had the responsibilities of being either Class Captains or Bell Ringers. The Bell Ringers were the Student Time-Keepers.
The Class Captains assisted the Teachers with maintaining law and order amongst their pairs without being bossy. They had the responsibility of taking down the names of noise makers especially when there is no Teacher around and at Prep times when there is no Class Prefect around.
There was a Bell Ringer assigned to the Classroom Block. (We remember Queen Constance Douye Oki). This Bell Ringer was usually a Student of a Class whose position was very strategic within the Classroom Blocks such that when the Bell went, it would be heard all round. This was usually a Form 4 Student. It was the responsibility of this Bell Ringer to alert both the Teachers and the Students of the beginning of the new Class or maybe what you would call a change of Guards.
It started 1st with the Warning Bell which would go 5 minutes before the end of one Class and the final Bell right on the start of a new hour to inform the Teachers and the Students that the particular Class time was up. By this time, the Teacher for the next Class will be waiting outside the Class ready to board.
There was another Bell Ringer position which was more popular. This Bell Ringer was an O’levels Student and she had the sole responsibility of:
– Waking up the whole School every day at 5.30am the School year round.
– Ringing the Bell at 7.30am to let us know it was time for our Morning Duties – making our beds, tidying up our Corners, sweeping the dormitories and the environs, cleaning the bathrooms and the toilets
– At 7.30am to head for the Dining Room for Breakfast
– At 8.15am to head to the Assembly Ground for Assembly
– At 2.45pm to head for the Dining Hall for Lunch
– At 6.00pm to head for the Dining Hall for Dinner
– At 9.00pm – Lights Out
There were a few times when we woke up late because our Bell Ringer overslept.
(We fondly remember Queen Mary Achuzim and Queen Mary Ighodje – our Founding Wake-up Bell Ringers)
Fridays we sent our clothes in to be Laundered by the Laundry Staff to be returned to the Dormitories on Sundays.
Saturdays were Inspection Days. This took place at 11am – usually the tour would be by the House Mistress; and on very special occasions, by a top Government Official and Entourage.
Sundays were Worship Days. Services were conducted simultaneously for both Catholics and Anglicans (Episcopal). A Catholic Priest and a Rt. Reverend from the Anglican Diocese were officially assigned to take these Sunday Services. (We fondly remember our Rt. Reverend Dr. Azinge MD of the Anglican Diocese)
Idia College had a very strong Parent-Teacher Association. This Association had a very strong Partnership, Presence, Alliance and Influence in School. They did not leave the work of defining the future of their children alone to the Teachers and Staff.
y Committee whose Membership consisted of Parents, Teachers and a top Government Official from the Department of Education was in place to deliberate and decide on Codes of Conduct, Compliance and Consequences. (We remember the founding Chairman of the PTA and Disciplinary Committee, Chief R.M.E. Aitalegbe).
The aim for founding Idia College as a 1st Class Government Female Model Secondary School, was that it would give Qualitative education to deserving Female Students and it will also serve as a Model to be copied by other Girls’ Schools in the Region and beyond.
Idia College was birthed in January 1973, at a time when the beginning of the National Academic School Year in Nigeria transitioned from January to September.
And so the year 1973, experienced the Admission of 2 Sets of Students:
A Set of Students with the Academic Year beginning in January and ending fortunately in June/July
Another Set of Students with the Academic Year beginning in September and ending in July of the following Year.
In the early years, the Academic School Year was made up of 3 Terms with the year rounding off with Students being tested on every aspect of the Curriculum or Syllabus of all that they had been taught to determine their eligibility for the next Class up.
This was the Promotion Exams that Students fondly referred to as the: ALMIGHTY JUNE
Idia College was indeed a Flag-Bearing state-of-the art School that had the confidence of State Governors, Senators, Commissioners, High Government Officials, Industrialists and Business Entrepreneurs in Nigeria and abroad who entrusted the education of their Children and Wards to this Institution of high repute.
Idia College bears the name of a Heroic Queen of the Benin kingdom, Queen Idia (the Mother of King Esigie). The School’s Emblem is the Idia Mask – a Nationally-adopted image of Art.
It is also popularly called the Festac Head.
The Motto of the School is Honesty, Initiative and Determination.
The Founding Principal was Mr. Pius Oleghe.
The Principals from 1973 till date viz:
1. Mr. Pius O. Oleghe was Principal 1973-1974
2. Mrs. Marion Akpata 1974-1976
3. Miss. R. E.B. Howard 1976-1982
4. Mrs. Taiye Akinluyi-Ikhilame 1982-1983
5. Mrs. R. O. Maidoh 1983-1985
6. Mrs. F. A. Asemota 1985-1994
7. Mrs. E. O. Okaisabor 1994-1996
8. Mrs A. K. Alohan 1996-1998
9. Mrs. Ahanoba 1998-1998
10. Mrs. K. O. Umabe 1998-2000
11. Mrs. E. O. Iyoha 2000-2009
12. Mrs. O. I. Igbinovia 2009-2012
13. Mrs. E. H. Ogbebor 2012-Till date – Principal, Senior Secondary School
14. Mrs. D.S. Ogunsuyi Principal – Junior Secondary School
Between 1973-1976, Students could wear their hair long, have their Uniforms laundered by the Laundry Staff, there was absolutely no form of corporal punishment allowed. Older Students were not allowed to punish the Junior Students.
Idia College was strong on respect. Junior Students were not allowed to call their immediate Seniors by their names. All O’levels Students of lower Class Grades were mandated to call Students of Grades higher than they were in by adding the prefix “Sister” before the name of the Senior Student.
O’Levels Students were mandated to address every A’Levels Student with the prefix “Aunty” before their 1st names.
Idia College witnessed its 1st Protest and Riot when the School served the Students “Maize Pudding” wrapped in Green leaves and stewed Vegetables (Akassan in Edo Language or Eko in Yoruba Language). The Students unanimously refused to touch Dinner that day and there w
as a lot of protest and chaos. Policemen had to be called in to maintain order. The Law Officers (Cops) were handicapped in their duties as present amongst the Students were Children of Police Commissioners (Police Chiefs), State Governors (to include Dorothy, the daughter of then Bendel State Governor himself), and high ranking Federal and State Government Officials. They could not afford to hurt any child. Bread had to be urgently delivered that night with sardines to placate the dissatisfied but highly indulged Students and School was immediately shut down and all Students sent home.
That was the 1st and last time that Menu showed up in the Dining Hall.
In 1976, Miss R.E.B Howard took on the mantle of Principal. In her tenure, much more discipline was enforced. Plucking any flower earned you an immediate expulsion, if caught. Every Student had to walk briskly, smartly or better still: “rrrrrrrrrun”.
Our Bible Knowledge Teacher (Rev. W.O. Woghiren – now of blessed Memory) composed and taught us to compulsorily recite a Poem which reads:
Good Girls don’t throw useless things on the ground
They always take them to the dustbin
A Girl who throws useless things on the ground
Is a very very bad girl indeed
She will surely make her own house dirty
And everyone there will be sick!
You had to be in Form 3
to wear your hair long or have on any plaits or braids.
Labor Day was introduced. Monday was Labor Day and every Student had to cut a portion of Grass around their Dormitories.
Laundry Staff were immediately dismissed and Students had to launder their clothes themselves with their own hands and iron them. Iron and Detergents therefore became part of our School Supplies (“Provisions”).
Idia College Uniforms comprised of: The Monday-Friday Classroom Uniforms, House Dresses (for after-School Hours – checkered and in varying colors to depict the color of the House the Student was in), and the Ceremonial Outing Uniforms which we wore to our Official Outings – to include inter-School Competitions and State Activities at the State Ogbe Stadium.
OUR RICH SCHOOL
Don’t You Know Us?
Those are the Opening words of a Song we used to sing as we marched on foot in a very orderly procession from our School to the Ogbe Stadium Benin- City for State activities. We would walk in a file of three to four students per row in our Outing Uniforms (excellently laundered, starched and ironed Purple sleeveless v-neck dress with a matching purple fabric buckled belt and an inner Hot Pink short sleeve inner Blouse with baby Collar, and adorn a matching shade Purple Felt Beret with the School’s logo) on the close to 5- mile march to the Stadium. It never seemed like much walk then because there were brief breaks when we could spend some of the “pocket money” (allowance) our Parents had given us towards the purchase of Candies, Cookies and more.
Also it was an exciting opportunity to just get out of the four walls of our Boarding School!
Those were the jolly days!!
The Idia College we knew and attended, the Vision that was birthed, the Vision that informed and formed us spanned from Evbiemwen Street to Iyaro-Apian Way. The ambience was captivating. The well manicured and tended Landscape was outstanding.
Driving in through the Evbiemwen Gate, on the right were (these were all wooden Buildings):
– 2 Cubicles that housed the A’Levels Students; it accommodated 2 A’Levels Students each per room.
– The Navy-Blue House – Here, the gigantic School Bell stood majestically.
– The Brown House
– The Yellow House
– The Pink House
– Further down was the School Refectory (Dining Hall) – it had a sub-Section that was exclusively for the A-level Students
– The School Kitchen and the Domestic Warden’s Office
– The School Laundry
Our Founding School Matron (Domestic Warden) was beloved Mrs. Mukoro.
On the Left hand side:
– We had a strip of the Junior Staff Quarters where we all sneaked to purchase chilled Sodas for our Thermos and fresh bread
– There was the Evbiemwen Gate Strip of the Senior Staff Quarters that housed the Residences of the Domestic Warden (Mrs. Mukoro) which was the 1st Residence, and other Teaching Staff who also doubled as House Mistresses.
– Across and directly adjacent to these Staff Residences were other Dormitories. These were all Brick Buildings viz:
– Green House
– Blue House
– Red House
Across from these Houses on the other side were:
– The School’s Assembly Hall
– The Chemistry Lab
– The Physics Lab
Further down the Assembly Hall Corridor was the Classroom Block for Forms 1-3 (6th, 7th and 8th Grade Classrooms).
On the left-hand-side across the Fence was a White Garment Cherubim and Seraphim Church that on uncountable number of occasions, during their numerous worship Services and activities, coupled with the quietness that had to be maintained in the Classroom especially at night time during the Evening Prep, if by any chance a Student made the error of dragging her desk on the floor in a bid to either stand up or be more comfortable in her seating, would send immediate chills and fears through our child-like spines and cause a commotion and stampede at Night Prep in the whole School – and would most often times than not, find Students racing for their lives from the Classroom Block to the Dormitories in the dark. The Principal and Resident Teachers would immediately swoop in to maintain order and Safety.
Across from the Forms 1-3 Classroom Block, we had the Music Room, the Teachers’ Staff Room, the Vice Principal’s Office, and the Principal’s Office.
Now, back to Evbiemwen Gate end of the Tour. All Roads were tarred.
Driving down from Evbiemwen Gate past the Navy-Blue House and Brown House, brought you to the Principal’s House.
– Directly Opposite the Brown House was the Biology Lab which permanently had Mr. Tandon (an Indian Teacher) at work at all times. We also had Mrs. Obuaya as our Biology Teacher.
– There was also the Home Economics Room where we were taught practical Cooking Lessons and some Sewing
– There was the Office of the School Resident Nurse – a Certified and Licensed Senior Nursing Officer (RN) was permanently deployed by the State Ministry of Health to the School from 8am-3.00pm daily to attend to the Medical needs of the Students. She had the Authority to give Students Exeats or Permission Slips to go to the Specialist Hospital for further medical attention if she deemed it fit. We remember Mrs. Imoukhuome and Mrs Osemwengie
– Across the road from the Office of the School Nurse was the Sick-Bay which had some beds for those who were unwell and had to be temporarily under observation or medication.
– Directly opposite the Principal’s House and the Biology Lab on the other end was our School Swimming Pool.
A Tour from the Iyaro Gate would usher you into the Apian Way.
Apian Way housed another set of Staff Quarters. Every Teaching Staff that resided on the School Premises had the responsibility of the oversight of a Dormitory.
Apian Way housed the Residences of: Mr. & Mrs. Tandon (Indian), Mrs. Bashyan (Indian), Mrs. Emwemwan, Mrs. Obuaya, Mr. Kazi (Pakistan)
Further down, we had the Vice-Principal’s Residence (Miss Taiwo Akinluyi-Ikhilame)
Driving down was the Volley Ball Court on the right hand side
Past the Volley Ball Court was a short Exit that led to our famous Games Field.
Our Games Field was “Famous”. It was a mini-Stadium with Race tracks, a Bowl and Seating areas. Our Inter-House Sports were great and exciting Events. Extremely colorful with the colors of the Sashes of the Competing Houses and the Uniforms and House Dresses
Games Period was compulsory.
It was compulsory for every Student to have some form of Recreation or Play every day from 6pm – 7pm.
Besides the Race Tracks on our Games Field, our Field housed a Professional Basket Ball Court. Games available to us for play included Basket Ball, Javelin, High Jump, Long Jump, Short Put, Relay Races, Hurdles, Hockey, Cricket, Badminton, Lawn Tennis, Table Tennis, and Swimming.
Our Games Field had its own external Gate as Outsiders would rent our Games Field for their Inter-House Sports Competition Events, or Churches would rent our Games Field for their Crusades. Prominent amongst these Crusades was that of Arch-Bishop Benson Idahosa of the Church of God Mission International.
Our School was not only rich in Education, it was rich in Drama, Arts and Culture; and it was rich in Sports.
Beyond the Volley Ball Court was a little circle or roundabout – the right hand side of which housed a strip of Classroom Blocks for Forms 4-5. (9th and 10th Grades)
Each Class Grade or most had Home rooms A-D (4A, 4B, 4C, 4D).
By Form 4, the Classrooms were clearly defined as either pure Arts or Pure Science or a combination of both without the Physics.
Class 4A was Pure Arts
Classes 4B and 4C were a combination of some form of Science – Chemistry maybe – what you could rightly call the Social Sciences
Class 4D was Pure Science – Physics, Chemistry Biology were compulsory subjects in this Class in addition to other Subjects to include Math and English.
Students in this Classroom did not have any business with Home Economics or Fine Art.
They were very serious Scholars and the Principal loved them.
Behind this strip of Classroom Block was our Art Room and our A’Levels Classrooms. A’Levels was the 11th and 12th Grades.
We took a lot of Pride in our School.
We excelled in Sports, we excelled in Drama, we excelled in Literary and Debating Competitions, we excelled in Arts and Culture.
It was a Taboo to be a Student of Idia College and speak any form of incorrect English or mix your tenses incorrectly.
When the Joint Universities Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) Examinations results were released, practically every 11th and 12th Grade (A’Levels) Student passed and got admission into the University. There was a year those left in Class to continue their A’Levels were 2 Students out of over 30 Students.
Successful Students had their Names published in National Newspapers with admissions to the best Universities in Nigeria.
That was our Great School
The Vision that informed our Orientation and molded us.
Fortunately, the past couple of years saw some semblance of Order being restored under the Administration of the former Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomole.
Today, there are functioning standard Classrooms, a new Assembly Hall, Physics Lab, comfortable Boarding facilities for almost 100 students, and two Administrative School Halves: Idia Junior and Idia Senior, which makes for more effective operations.
Statistics – SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL
Mrs. Esohe Ogbebor
Principal, Idia College Senior School
Student Population 2,178
Vice Principals: Mr. Osawaru, Mr. W. Ediae, Mr. E. Erhabor, Mr. Esezobor
Teacher Population: 59
Statistics – JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL
Mrs. D.S. Ogunsuyi
Principal Idia College Junior School
Student Population 3,400
Vice Principals: Mr. D. O. Odion, Mrs. F.O Edo, Mr. L. O. Oboh, Mrs. V. I. Obamwonyi
Teacher Population 81
Non-Teaching Staff 7
Setting up of National Bodies of Old students all over the World is highly encouraged for a more coordinated and consolidated support of our Alma Mater.
The North America (NA) National is the 3rd National Office to join the Idia College Old Girls Association Worldwide. Other National Offices are located in Nigeria and London (UK) respectively.
Queen Pastor Omo Ghandi-Olaoye, President of the ICOGA NA (2013-2018), officially launched the Idia College Old Girls Association, North America in October 2013, in collaboration with other Queens present, including DC, MD, VA (DMV), Boston, New Jersey and Atlanta Chapters – to which a Toast was given and all present unanimously and joyously raised their wine glasses in unison to toast their beloved Alma Mater.
In partnership with the Government and the different Chapters of ICOGA around the World, we aim to restore our Pride, imprint a Legacy, bring our School to an uncompromised Standard that our generations can attend, identify with and continue the proud Heritage of an undying Queenly Tradition.
Pledging with pride to be HONEST, DETERMINED and full of INITIATIVE in all our endeavors.
Encouraging Excellence in Character and Excellence in Academic Performance amongst the Students and Teachers.
Don’t you know us?
Don’t you know us?
We are Idia girls Oh! Oh! (2ce)
If you want to know us
You must learn our Motto
Honesty, Determination and Initiative
Is our Motto
ICOGA Global maintains an Administrative Office and an Administrator on the Premises of Idia College Benin City.