The Scottish missionary?Mary Mitchell Slessor, who had done much work with the?Efik people?around Calabar, was a driving force behind the establishment of the Institute.?Edinburgh was hesitant about accepting Slessor demand to establish an industrial training center, but eventually decided to set up an institute on similar lines to its two existing ones in Africa,?Lovedale Institute?in South Africa and Livingstonia?in?Nyasaland.?Robert Laws, a?United Presbyterian?minister who had been involved with both of these institutions for a long time, was sent to make a feasibility study. Laws expressed complete confidence that the success of the other two schools could be replicated in Calabar.The institute was established in 1894.?The first school building was a prefabricated classroom block of corrugated iron sheets and Scandinavian pitch pine, built by a Glasgow firm and shipped to Calabar where it was assembled in 1894.?By March 1895 teaching had commenced.?By 1900 the school had forty-two students. Two were doing gardening, five printing, eight tailoring, five engineering, eleven carpentry and eleven baking. According to Henry Carr the boys were “well disciplined, and their appearance… cheerful and healthy.” They generally spoke English well and had good penmanship. However, the instruction programs were somewhat haphazard, dictated by whatever job the department was undertaking at any given time.The school was more expensive that other missions, since it required machinery for industrial training, and by 1902 the mission was forced to accept government funding.?As the school became established, competition for places became intense since graduates were guaranteed employment by the government, the mission or other local businesses, or had the opportunity to go on to higher studies.?The balance of pupils, at first dominated by coastal communities, gradually shifted to include more from the hinterland. In 1919 the school had 31?Ibibio?pupils compared to 82?Efik. By 1927 there were over 50 Ibibio pupils and by 1931 86 Ibibio, with 119 Efik.?But students came to the school from all over West Africa, including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Dahomey, the Cameroons and Fernando Po.
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September 26, 2011 7:35 pm
|Website||Visit Link Here|
|Address||Calabar, Cross river state, Southern Nigeria|
|Keywords||Calabar Cross river state Southern|