The increasing thirst for secondary school education in Oke Ogun area of Oyo State, known as Oyo North shortly before Nigeria’s independence expedited the establishment of Baptist High School, Saki in February 1958. At the take-off of the school, there were natural fears entertained by the founding fathers, the Baptist Associations in the entire region. The hope for its survival remained faint and forlorn. The whole idea was shrouded in doubt and the Baptist Association owners of Araromi, Alafia-Oluwa started asking questions like “would it ever succeed? Would the intended moral and educational objective ever materialise?” The questions were legion and there was nobody to give answers of assurance. But like the Christian Soldiers that they were, they quickly reminded themselves of words of Hafiz that said: “In the time of trouble, avert not thy face from hope, for the soft marrow abideth in the hard bone.” So they went on cracking the bone in order to get to the marrow. And that is the success story of Baptist High School, Saki, the premier secondary school in the entire Oke Ogun region.
From a humble beginning in 1958, sixty years later, Baptist High School, Saki, has become a big fountain of knowledge. From an unsure mustard seed in 1958, it has grown into a giant tree like the Araba tree from where the school derives its local name, Idi Araba. From the time of its foundation in 1958, Baptist High School, Saki has soared high like a powerful eagle, dwarfing the Lilliputian achievements of its contemporaries. For six decades, 1958 to 2018, the Baptist High School, Saki has become one of the few secondary schools in Oyo State that has produced those who hold sway at the state, national and international levels. The emphasis on moral and quality academic training and importation of Spartan discipline in the students are the strong pillars that uphold the school. Through the effort of the founding principals and teachers and their successors, Baptist High School, Saki has produced movers and shakers of the society. From the bowels of the school have come eminent professors in Nigerian foreign universities. Baptist High School, Saki produced an Accountant-General of the federation and a current Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Oyo State civil Service has benefited immensely from the products of the school who became permanent secretaries, directors and seasoned technocrats. Many Nigerian ambassadors to foreign countries are products of the great Idi Araba, Baptist High School, Saki. Products of the school are found in the nation’s industrial sector, not as hewer of wood and carriers of water, but as heads of industries. For the school, it has been a success story all through.
It is a good thing to always give thanks to God and ascribe all authority to His holy name. This explains why the National Association of Old Students of the school under the leadership of Chief Isaac Koleoso, the Odofin of Saki land, has put together a four-day programme to commemorate the 60 years of moral and academic excellence of the school. In appreciation of their alma mater, the old students have embarked on various projects to complement the facilities in the institution. Without any attempt at vainglory, one can safely say that Baptist High School, Saki has come a long way, sometimes ailing, sometimes taking unsteady steps, but most of the time preserving. With determination, zeal and transparent loyalty and honesty of purpose on the part of these who had the uncommon grace of running its affairs, the school paddled through tempestuous waters until the weather became clearer and the sailing easier. Glory Semper Deo.
Amao, an old student of BHS, Saki, writes in from Ibadan.
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