Education in Umuomaku
Education has been in existence before the arrival of the Christian missionaries who introduced formal education. The girls were taught how to be virtuous and submissive wives, whereas the men were taught to be strong, hardworking, law abiding and respectful. The native type of education produced traditional healers, house builders, blacksmiths, wood carvers, food processors, midwives and many others. At the arrival of the missionaries in Umuomaku, they established a Nursery and Primary Schools with the main purpose of spreading Christianity in the town.
These schools were solely managed and financed by the missionaries. With the increase in the number of pupils, the classes were expanded. Most of the pupils who successfully completed their primary education joined either St Charles or Central School both in Achina to finish up their upper primary education.
Anglican Church, Roman Catholic Church and Salvation Army were planted alongside kindergarten schools. These schools later spread to areas such as Ogbo-uro and Afo markets both in the old Okpobe village, Ugwu Okwute in Umunambu, Okwu in Umuokpurukpu.
These kindergarten schools later transformed into early junior primary schools and later to upper primaries in the 1950s. St Mary’s Anglican Church and St John’s Catholic Church got approvals to teach up to standard six in the year 1956 and 1959 respectively. The Salvation Army’s ‘Band of Love’ kindergarten school progressed to primary four in the 1960s and functioned not until the government merged schools in 1970. Umuomaku then had the Central School and Community Primary School as the only government approved schools.
The Nigeria – Biafra civil war of 1967 – January 1970 disrupted school activities nationally, Umuomaku also was affected.
After the Civil War, the Nigerian government became in charge of all schools in the then Eastern region. The Girls Secondary School was established in Umuomaku and located in Umuokpulukpu Village in September 1978. The establishment of the Girls Secondary School in the town meant that only girls could study in this school. Consequently, boys who aspired to go to Secondary school had to attend schools in the neighbouring towns to actualise their dreams.
The Umuomaku Girls Secondary school was later changed to Union Secondary school, Umuomaku, which led to both the boys and girls attending the school together and consequently led to a surge in the school population.
The presence of Secondary school in the town did not only benefit Umuomaku people alone but also people from neighbouring towns such Enugu-Umuonyia, Onneh, Agbudu, Umuchu, Achina among others, through enrollment as students and also through employment