History of the Creation of Government Sea School Isaka, Port Harcourt
LUX FIAT (Let there be light)
Government Sea School Isaka was established in 1971 by Commander Alfred Diete Spiff, the Military Governor of Rivers State at the time, under Military Decree No. 2, for the purpose of training and providing mid-level manpower to serve in the young Maritime Industry and Navigate the Waterways of the Niger Delta. In addition, the school was designed to also supply manpower to the Merchant Navy of Nigeria.
The Military Decree provided amongst other things, the development of skilled and well-disciplined young men with strong academic foundation in Seamanship, Sciences and the Liberal Arts, that would become Strong Leaders and Captains of Industry in Nigeria.
The Administrative Structure of the School was primarily a Governing Board, comprised of a five Member Board of Trustees and headed by a Chairman of the Board. The following individuals formed the Governing Board of Trustees then and administered the affairs of the institution.
1. Captain Elechi Amadi, Chairman
2. Mr. Neil Whyte, School Principal
3. Mr. John Wright
4. Mr. Nsiegbe, Architect and Designer of Isaka Campus
5. Mr. Abrakassa, Chief Accountant
All through its existence, the School Curriculum consistently emphasized Physical Training, Seamanship/ Navigation, Science and the Liberal Arts, in preparation of its Students for the West African Examination Council (WAEC) Final Examination. By its third year of existence, the school was beginning to realize some of its purpose, when its Students started excelling in Track and Field Sports, Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball, Boxing and Academic Competitions in Rivers State. Furthermore, its Students sailed to the Republic of Cameroon in December 1973 with 12 students and successfully anchored at the shores of Fernando Po, before proceeding to the Ambas Bay, Victoria, Cameron. And the Crew of Students successfully climbed the Cameroon Mountain to the peak of 13,500 ft above Sea Level , a mountain expedition that lasted for three days; two days to the top and one day climbing down to the Buea Upper Farm.
Under the Decree that established it, Sea School Isaka was to operate as an independent school under the direct supervision of the Military Governor’s Office, instead of the State Ministry of Education. In almost all of its first 4 years of operation, the School Campus was temporarily located at Borokiri, Port Harcourt, with only 30 Students in each of the 4 Classes, maintaining its policy of admitting only 30 Freshman Students annually. It was not until the close of its 4th year of operation that the School changed its admission policy and admitted 60 Students into the next Freshman Class. And by the close of its 4th year of operation in Borokiri, the Sea School Isaka permanent Campus, designed by Mr. Nsiegbe (Architect) which had been under construction was completed and ready, so the School was moved to the Isaka Island across from Port Harcourt in September 1975. And in the following year and at this new location, the first set of Students (The Pioneer Students) sat for the West African Examination Council (WAEC) Final Examination in May/June and left the Island.
For its first outing in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) Final Examinations in May/June of 1976, the Pioneer Set of the school achieved a One Hundred Percent (100 %) success thereby setting the pace for the younger students to follow. Thereafter, and since then, the school became famous for academic excellence and sports. The graduates from the school have become Merchant Ship captains, Naval Officers, Army and Air Force officers. Others have established Maritime Institutions and owned Ocean-going Vessels, while others have distinguished themselves in Medicine, Law, Engineering, Sports and Business and Finance in Nigeria, Europe and United States.
Francis Kone: History of GSSI