Jesuit Memorial College (JMC), in Nigeria, is a hope that is reborn following the tragic loss of lives in the Sosoliso airplane crash on December 10, 2005 at the Port Harcourt Airport.
The Jesuits, who have a long tradition of providing quality secondary and tertiary education, discerned the need to build a secondary school dedicated to the memory of these “Sixty Angels”. JMC seems to be emerging from this terrible disaster, and like the proverbial phoenix will soar to ever greater heights in the future.
On September 1, 2018, JMC welcomed the sixth consociate of students making students enrollment in the school a complete set from Basic School Seven to Senior School Three. JMC is systematically making progress in achieving its vision of forming men and women of conscience, competence, compassion, commitment and character.
Since the first International Congress for Jesuit Education Delegates, JESEDU-Rio2017, we have been striving to implement the actions outlined by the Delegates in our own school. Below are some of the items we’ve been working on.
Action #1 – Examen of Consciousness
The examination of consciousness which JMC introduced last year into the daily school timetable is being faithfully carried out. Every school day, between 12:05pm and 12:10pm, the school bell rings and everyone in the compound stays still to observe the Ignatian examen. We also encourage the students to do their private examen at night before they go to bed.
Action #3 Ignatian Spirituality and Discernment
JMC management provide the opportunity for teachers and staffs to experience some elements of the Spiritual Exercises St. Ignatius as a way to enable our understand the vision of Ignatius which is the spirit that lies behind Jesuit Education. The retreat helps our staff to take a quiet moment out of their usual productive activities and thus allowing God to “speak”. It also helps them to form prayerful habits and the capacity to “find God in all things’ in the context of their daily activities, relationships and routine.
Action #4 Plan of Innovation
For academic prowess to continue to strive in JMC, it is the responsibility of Management to provide infrastructure for both students and staff that will foster innovation in teaching, learning and the discharge of duties at the workplace. As such, sound proof ceilings have been constructed in all classrooms to help eliminate noise from heavy raindrops on the rooftops during classes. Apart from that, there is an ongoing extension of the ICT and Library that will accommodate up to 200 students on each floor. As the world is increasingly becoming a global village, JMC has since upgraded all his classrooms into a “smart” high-tech compliance!
Following an overhaul of our ICT department, the school deployed media and technology, where projectors have been mounted in all the classrooms to make teaching fun, interactive and interesting, thereby reducing redundancy and inefficiency. Lately, JMC was hosted on the Google platform to expedite communication and data input. What is true of data is true of voice; every staff room in JMC now has both wireless phones and intercoms installed to facilitate smooth communication.
Action #6 Parents and Families
To ease off difficulties encountered by parents when trying to get their cars stationed during visits to the school, a parking lot with proper drainage system was constructed to accommodate over two hundred and fifty cars. At the same time, a JMC ‘bus stop’ facility where staff/visitors can sit while waiting for vehicles was also put in place. Also, JMC management continue to offer Ignatian spirituality/principles to the parents of our students via monthly Newsletter, monthly meetings and workshops in the various PTA branches across the country.
Apart from equipping the school’s laboratory with standard equipment, another outstanding achievement is the registration of JMC clinic with State Ministry of Health; this means that both staff and students can assess the Clinic and Laboratory for most health services with little or no difficulty in terms of Health Insurance claims.
The maintenance building has just been completed; this building will serve as an office for the maintenance and support staff as well as a meeting/recreational space for the JMC support staff.
Action #8 Environmental and Social Policy
Another huge task taken up by the school is the construction of Jesuits’ Community which we believe will be completed within a period of seven to twelve months. On a lighter note, JMC students and staffs now enjoy quality bread, small chops and poultry produce from the school bakery and farm. Both departments are built to respond to ecological challenges of our time!
Action #7 Human Excellence
At JMC, we believe in developing the whole person, the body, mind and soul and we know that participation in sports is an important element of a healthy lifestyle which enhances academic performance and fosters collaboration and self-confidence; hence there is an urgency to construct a world-class sports facility as we prepare for our maiden Inter house sports by November.
Action #8 Environmental and Social Policy
The JMC community in its quest to embrace the “Green House” Project, continues to combat the menace of plastic water bottles, bags or plastic waste containers by phasing out its use in the school by the end of this academic year to help control plastic pollution and its adverse effect on the environment.
Action #9 Education for and with the Marginalized
JMC educational mission is not merely academic but has broad goals for the wholistic development of her students. Some of these goals are fostered by extra-curricular activities and formational programs such as the clubs, leadership training, daily mass, personal and social education, as well as service program. In particular, the service program provides senior students opportunity to serve the poor and marginalized of the community in a mandatory three-week service project.
The school plans to set up an endowment fund through the support of collaborators to ensure that children who are passionate about Jesuit Education can gain access to our school.
Action #13 Use of Educate Magis
Our school is still in the process of building a team to properly engage and become fully involved in the Educate Magis platform. We are still making enquiries about the platform and what it entails while considering the details of our work here so that we may participate actively. In the nearest future, we should get fully on board.
As HOPE RE-BORN, the mission remains to ensuring that students graduating from this school be prepared adequately to enter the world with an awareness of ethical values and ever-growing desire for peace and justice.