OUR LADY OF LOURDES COLLEGE MANKON BAMENDA, Cameroon
by Tangwing Pius
OUR LADY OF LOURDES COLLEGE MANKON BAMENDA
ABOVE THE CATHEDRAL, MANKON BAMENDA
The college is a typical Roman Catholic School that accommodates mainly the girl child. it is located in the cathedral premises in Bamenda in the northwest region.
The school is a full boarding school run by the Sisters of the Holy Rosary of the Archdiocese of Bamenda. The college is known for producing outstanding results in the Cameroon General Certificate of Education, the GCE.
It started fully on the 15th of October 1963 with 35 students. It was founded by a Reverend Father, Fr. Nabben. At that time he was the Parish Priest of the St. Joseph's Parish Mankon. His intention was to offer education to girls, because at this period female education was not a priority among the people of this community. When everything that was needed to put the school moving was ready, the college was entrusted into the care of Our Lady of Lourdes, a tradition common with the Catholic Church.
Since its inception in 1963, the college has undergone dramatic changes: It was first called Our Lady of Lourdes Secondary School, the name of the school was changed to Our Lady of Lourdes College, being a boarding school, it first included four buildings made up of four houses as; Immaculata, Fatima, Rosary, and Bernadette, a high school building was included in the year 2005, a large building was built to encompass two more Houses; Saint Paul and Shanahan. These houses serve as dormitories for the students. Each of the houses
has been assigned a color - sky blue, green, red, yellow and deep blue.
Since its creation the college has had a history of female principals as follows: Rev. Sr Mary Hewson, Rev. Sr Margaret O'Keeffe, Rev. Sr Mary Neville, Rev. Sr Nuala Lahert, Rev. Sr Mercy Ani, Rev. Sr Bernadette Ukadike, Rev. Sr Eucharia Ndidi.
Apart from the administrative staff, the students are managed by Senior prefect and assistant, house captains, dormitory captains, sports captains, refectorians, sanitarians, infirmarians, labour prefects, religious prefects, class prefects, and study prefects.
To gain admission into the college, exams and interviews are usually organised on campus before the beginning of each new academic year.
Daily mass celebrations take place in the school chapel every week days and at the St Joseph Cathedral on Sundays. Retreats are also organized for all classes in order for students to withdraw from other school activities for some days so as to commune with God in prayer and reflection.
This helps to increase the student’s spiritual life. Students whose religious background is not Catholic are also allowed to go and worship in their nearby churches on Sundays. Daily activities in the college look thus: Mass celebration, breakfast, chores, classes, lunch, siesta, afternoon preps, sports, supper, evening preps.
They also carry out sporting activities in all the team sports which enable them to take part in inter-class and inter-school competitions and club activities in music, drama drawing, science, etc are part of the student’s activities. Parents, friends and relatives are allowed to visit students in the college once a term.
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