By Izunna Okafor, Awka
The Anglican Diocese of Awka, Anambra State, has vehemently debunked as falsely fabricated, the trending publication alleging that three students in its prestigious girls’ secondary school, the Queens’ Convent, Awka, were impregnated by gatemen.
Reacting to the viral report that started trending on Thursday, the Director of Media, Publicity, and Communications for the Diocese, Comrade Odogwu Emeka Odogwu refuted the allegations as baseless and malicious.
Odogwu, in a strongly-worded press statement, clarified that the students of the said Convent had been on holiday and would be resuming next, hence, wondering where the peddlers of the said information got their details from.
The press statement also refuted claims of suicide attempts or students jumping from buildings, emphasizing that such stories are entirely unfounded.
The statement read in full: “Our attention has been drawn to rumours making the rounds maliciously and calculated to tarnish the image of our Convent, the best Girls Secondary School in Anambra state- Queens’ Convent, Awka, Anambra State.
Queens’ Convent students are on holidays and will resume next week. Before the closure for last term, there was nothing of such unless in the imaginations of such paid peddlers of the malicious, pedestrian and denigrating information against our school.
“The school’s gatemen are four, two elderly and two young men posted by their company, FEDA Securities, and they have nothing to do with the students but their duty posts. Our students are prohibited from going to the gate and being seen with the security men. They have nothing to do with where students reside.
“Let’s reiterate that the school only hires the service of a professional security company which posts trained personnels to the school.
“The issue of committing suicide and jumping from 2 storey building never existed. Those who are peddling the malicious propaganda to run the school’s image down should be ready to present the three pregnant girls at the appropriate time when called upon. We are not interested in knowing those used to run negative commentary about our school, but the medium (media) should be able to present the 3 pregnant students when called upon.
“The Principal of Queens’ Convent Awka and wife of the Archbishop, Province of the Niger and Anglican Bishop of Awka, Mrs Martha Chioma Ibezim M. Ed said there was not and can never be such pedestrian story from the school she presides over. She encourages journalists as partners in progress and societal development to get the other sides of any story before rushing to the press. She insists that character assassination is actionable.
“Again, we note that no teacher of Queens’ Convent can malign or speak to the press on such foul language but enemies of the feats recorded by Queens’ Convent recently in local, state and international competitions and examinations where our students are breaking new records as our school is outstanding in WAEC, NECO, Anambra State Essay Competition (1st position), Children’s Day Match Past (1st position), Provincial Mathematics Competition (1st position).
“And let us reiterate that there are Staff on duty 24 hours in Queens’ Convent, Awka, making it impossible for such thing to happen in the Convent. Their matrons have their apartments in the hostels for close monitoring and no male Staff has access to their hostels.
“Only the female staff monitors the students from morning to night and the male activities end in the classrooms and field. The students from the Convent are champions in external competitions , hence the performance in JAMB, WAEC and NECO made the students to gain admissions straight to Higher Institutions within and outside the country.They participated in WHO IS WHO essay competition sponsored by Hon. Justice T.U Uzokwe for all the secondary schools in Anambra State and they came first and fourth.
“Queens’ Convent Awka also participated in Awka Diocesan Quiz Competition and came first in Science, and their involvement in different sporting activities show that they are trained to exhibit their talents. This is manifested as they participated during the Match past organised by Anambra State Government on 27th May, 2023 where they came first among all the private schools in the State. The school also organized different sporting events for the students and they also participate in sports organized by the Conference of Principals of Convents and Seminaries, Province of the Niger and Enugu.
“Recently, inspectors from the Federal Ministry of Education visited the school for overhaul assessment of the school on Quality Assurance, and they assessed the school inside out, both the laboratories, library, staff, etc, and equally interacted with the Students, School Management and Parents and their findings showed that the School is doing her best.
There are also other inspectors that come to the school for supervisions, and all the visits always prove that the School is working hard for the best of the Students.
“We thank God that the spiritual lives of the students are not neglected as there are numerous programmes to ensure that they grow daily in their relationship with Christ.
“The Proprietor of the school and Archbishop Province of the Niger and Bishop of Awka, Most Reverend Alexander Chibuzo Ibezim PhD, JP is working round the clock for the best of the girls, thus, the scenario of such scandal is near impossible. Also, the Chaplain of the school -Rev Canon Jonathan lkpoyi and the Vice Principal Mrs Ngozichukwuka Akata equally brief the Proprietor and Principal per hour developments and never brought such issues up.
“It’s unfortunate that publishers of Razor online news and their likes who are all resident in Awka and Anambra state and believed to have unrestricted access to the Archbishop, the Principal of the school and other officers of the school and the Diocese including the Director of media and communications of the Diocese decided to go to press with a malicious fake news to tarnish the image of the best mission female school in Anambra State without a word or effort to verify from their information. Even when the attention of the publishers of the online platform were drawn to know why the malicious publication without a contact from the institution, their reply wasn’t professional, but we wouldn’t want to join issues with them, as probably the platform was bent on having the image of the school and Diocese tarnished.
“Razor broke the news to get clicks, and ignored the simplest thing they would have done since the next door to them is the man to verify the story from.
“However, Queens’ Convent, Awka has continued to maintain sound teaching and learning with a zero tolerance for immorality and ill- behaviours.
“It should equally be stated here that the Management Committee of the Convent meets regularly and no ill news of such has ever been reported by any student or parent. At such, the inimical and unverified news remains false.
“Queens’ Convent Awka remains the best and no malicious rumour shall bring it down, for in God we trust.”