Christ’s School was founded in Ado Ekiti, Nigeria as a co-educational secondary school by Archdeacon Henry Dallimore in 1933. Archdeacon Dallimore was at the time Superintendent of Christ Missionary Society (CMS) school administration in Ekiti. The CMS was at the time the missionary arm of the Church of England, and made significant contribution in creating and maintaining formal educational institutions in Nigeria.
Ado Ekiti in 1933 was and still is the largest town in what today is Ekiti State in southwestern Nigeria. The Ekitis, whose ancestors migrated from Ile-Ife as a people, form one of the largest ethnic groups in Yorubaland. Ekitis are culturally homogeneous and speak a dialect of Yoruba language known as Ekiti. The homogeneity of Ekiti confers on the state some uniqueness among the states of Nigerian. Today Ekiti State consists of more than 127 large and small, ancient and modern towns, located on hills and valleys that characterize the state from which the confinement takes its name, Ekiti, meaning hill.
Until 1933, pupils in Ekiti wanting further education beyond primary school had to travel beyond Ekiti to live and sometimes indenture themselves to better educated people in faraway places like the coastal city of Lagos. From the onset of formalized education in Ekiti, the people of Ekiti which then were mostly farmers and traders, recognized the importance of education and thus encouraged each other to send their children to school. A result of this growing population of Ekiti children graduating school no doubt informed the establishment of a secondary school by the CMS in Ado-Ekiti in 1933. So it was that Christ’s School became the first secondary school established in Ekiti.
The school, named Ekiti Central School at inception provided two years of post-primary school instructions. It was renamed CHRIST’S SCHOOL, ADO-EKITI in June, 1936.
Formal instructions at the school started in 1933 with seventy-seven (77) student, out of which seven (7) were female according to the school register. At a time when most girls were married off in their teens, it was significant that from the onset, Christ’s School included students of both sexes. In 1933, Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti tutorial bench was occupied by Mr. J. O. A. Dina (form IA) and Mr. N. B. Adedayo (form IB). The school placed high premium not only on academic performance of pupils but in their conduct and physical contributions to the environment.
In 1942-1943, Christ’s School was upgraded to full six-year secondary school status with Venerable Henry Dallimore as the High Master and Mr. (Later Bishop) J.A.I. Falope as First Master. The school also became a boarding school.
Instructions were given in both academic and vocational subjects, so students not only learned mathematics and other academic subjects of the day, they could choose to also get instructions in one of masonry, carpentry or iron-working. The vocational skills received by the students were put to use in the infrastructural buildup of Christ’s school. There still are handful of buildings in use today that were built in those early days of Christ’s School.
In 1948, seven (7) candidates were “unofficially” prepared by the school and privately enrolled for the Senior Cambridge School Certificate Examinations. All passed. As a result of this feat, the Form VI students from 1948 to 1951 officially sat for the Cambridge Senior School Certificate Examinations at Ilesha Grammar School (in neighboring Ijeshaland). Subsequent examinations, especially the successor of Cambridge Senior School Certificate Examinations, the West African Examination Council (WAEC) School Certificate Examinations, were held at Christ’s School.
Henry Dallimore returned to the United Kingdom in May, 1947 and Mr. E.A. Babalola acted as High Master till December, 1947. In January 1948 Rev. L.D. Mason arrived Christ’s School and subsequently changed his title from High Master to Principal. The former Ekiti Anglican Girls’ Secondary School (EAGSS) founded in 1955 and sited opposite Christ’s School was officially merged with Christ’s School in 1966.
By the early 1960s Christ’s School had gained a reputation throughout Nigeria as a first rate secondary school, where the mind, spirit and body of students receive nurturing attention. Many graduates of the school were already at the time occupying important positions in different areas of the newly independent nation of Nigeria. From the onset, admission of students to Christ’s School was not limited to students of Anglican ecclesiastic leaning. A student could come from any religious background or any part of Nigeria whatsoever, as long as she can pass the entrance examination and the subsequent on-site interview, she was admitted. In fact a few students whose parents were expatriate staffers in Nigeria attended Christ’s School. Feats such as 100% pass rate in the terminal secondary school international examination was commonplace. The class of 1969 was reputed to have sent a third of its almost 120 students to the same medical school. A few of those former students practice medicine is the United States today.
In the field of sports in Nigeria, Christ’s School never lagged. What with annual inter-house (residential hall) sports competition in field and track events; and inter-secondary school sport competitions at the regional and state levels. Soccer in Nigeria is the national pastime, akin to baseball in the US. In 1975 Christ’s School clinched the Principals’ Cup, the top soccer championship prize, in the then Western State of Nigeria (now divided into five states). The same year Christ’s School won the state tournaments in Boys’ and Girls’ Volleyball.
Rev. L.D. Mason retired as Principal in December 1966 and January 1967 ushered in Chief. R.A. Ogunlade as the first indigenous Principal. After Chief. Ogunlade’s services were transferred to another school in 1972, there was a period of relative instability in the headship of the School until 1975 when Chief. Rueben Fashoranti became Principal.
In 1976, the military government ruling Nigeria at the time took over ownership of all secondary schools from missionaries. Christ’s School then became a public school but maintained its traditions.
At Chief Fasoranti’s retirement in 1978, Mr. S.O. Agbebi took over as Principal and was there till 1984 when he retired. In 1979, after 13 years or being one school, the government of the day separated Christ’s School into two secondary schools, one for boys, the other for girls. The boys’ school retained the name Christ’s School while the girls’ school took a new name, CHRIST’S GIRLS’ SCHOOL.
Over the years, as the population of Nigeria grew and student enrollment at all levels sky-rocketed, the government struggled to provide quality education across the board in the country. By the late seventies, results of terminal examinations at the secondary level even at Christ’s School was indicating a downward trend in the quality education.
Mr. Olusola Bayode, an alumnus of Christ’s School succeeded Mr. Agbebi in the 1984/85 School year and retired in December 1994. Mr. Kehinde Ojo, another alumnus took over as Principal in January 1995 till May 2006 when he was elevated to the post of Tutor General in Ekiti State Teaching Service Commission.
With the restructuring of schools in Ekiti State under Universal Basic Education Programme, Christ’s School was split into two – Senior School and Junior School in September, 2005. Elder M.A. Fasanmade an alumnus took over as Principal of Senior School while Mr. Tanwa Oyebode also an alumnus was Principal of Junior School. Similarly, Christ’s Girls School split into Senior and Junior schools. Thereafter, the School operated as four Schools within the Christ’s School Group.
In 2011, the restructuring into four schools was reversed with the result that Christ School today is once again two (2) school, Christ’s School headed by Prince W.A. Akinyede (Principal) and Christ’s Girls School headed by Mrs. I.M. Ogunrinde (Principal).