QRC Okoyong is “the Cradle of girls education in Cameroon”
As the adage goes, “Developing a woman implies developing a nation.” In the early 1950′s, education for girls was a privilege for most African society, as it was culturally considered that a woman’s place is confined to the home. Thanks to the inspiration and vision of Bishops Joseph Shanahan and Peter Rogan that women were and would continue to play an integral part in society.
In 1952, Bishop Rogan, who was the first Bishop of Buea Diocese, conceived the idea of opening a girls secondary school in Southern Cameroon. His request was granted by the Cameroon government on August 24 1955 and so the journey to start up an all girls secondary school with a focus on general education, in Okoyong – a village six kilometers away from Mamfe, not far from the Cross River began.
After concrete negotiations with local authorities, Bishop Rogan invited the Holy Rosary Sisters who arrived from Enugu, Nigeria in March 1956.
These Rev. Sisters were Mother Aquinas (later called Sr. Catherine Kelly), Rev. Sr. Louis and Rev. Sr. Reginald. On Saturday, 28thof April 1956, the school opened at the brick building with the arrival of the first 18 girls on the campus. It was on May 4th 1956 that formal classes started with an enrollment of 26 students. Rev. Sr. Catherine Kelly (then Mother Aquinas) was the Pioneer Principal.
QRC Okoyong started as a comprehensive school where, in addition to a few secondary school subjects, the girls also studied Religion, Typing, Shorthand, Music, Cookery, Needlework and House Craft. Some of these are still featured in the current school curriculum. Dr. E.M.L Endeley (Prime Minister at the time), Dr. John Ngu Foncha and Chief Dr. A. D. Mengot (Cultural Delegate of Education) motivated teaching and learning by granting scholarships to students.
In 1961, the pioneer students took the West African School Certificate of Education (WASCE) and passed with flying colors. Similar brilliant results were recorded in the subsequent years. After a decade, instead of WASCE, the 1960/61 transition class sat for the London GCE in 1966. Then in 1977, the students started sitting for the Cameroon GCE.
The administration of QRC stayed under the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary until July 25 1988 when they handed over batons to the Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus. This is a congregation from Nigeria invited by His Lordship Pius Suh Awa, Bishop of Buea Diocese, and at that time, Proprietor of QRC Okoyong.
Under the leadership of the Handmaid Sisters, QRC was granted the permission of opening a second cycle in May 1990 which uplifted the school to a complete high school.
When the Diocese of Mamfe came into being in 1999, His Lordship Bishop Francis Teke Lysinge, the new Bishop of Mamfe, took over from Bishop Awa as Proprietor of QRC Okoyong. The current Principal is Rev. Sister Agnes Olayode, an ex-student of QRC Okoyong. Bishop Andrew Nkea became the Bishop of Mamfe and the current proprietor on the 25th of January, 2014 when Bishop Lysinge went on retirement.
To promote and foster the academic, economic, spiritual and social development of past and present students of QRC Okoyong.
To increase communication, trust, cooperation and sisterhood amongst all Past and Present Students of QRC, Okoyong.
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