MORAL PROBLEMS IN NIGERIAN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
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Education is universally acclaimed as the best legacy that can be bequeathed to a child. To achieve this goal, there is no gain-saying the fact that in order to provide adequate all round education the responsibility of providing should not be left in the hands of parents alone. The family, school, community must play their roles as well.
Education is a very complex, time-consuming, energy sapping needs proper formulation of good policies and programmes to be beneficial to the people, thereafter followed by diligent and dedicated implementation of the various processes that comprise it in order to achieve the desired goals set out.
All of what has been outlined above goes to show that education cannot be adequately defined in few phrases or words. What education seeks to achieve is to impart knowledge and develop skills to people in the quest of transforming them to worthy citizens in character and learning, making them useful to the society or country they come from or live in.Moral Problems
Freethought is lacking in Nigeria’s educational institutions. This is because the country’s schools were originally established by religious groups, mainly Christian missionaries from Europe who used them as tools for converting the Nigerian. The curricula were faith-based and overwhelmed by religious dogma and brainwashing. Education was used to get Nigerians to embrace Christianity or Islam. It was not an avenue for self-realization or intellectual growth.Moral Problems
But in the early 1970s, the Nigerian government took over all the schools in order to instill secular ideals and values into public education. But the Nigerian educational system has retained its religious character-Islamic in the north and Christian in the south. The government’s secularization project was never achieved. So, two religions have maintained their corrupting influence on Nigeria’s schools and students, allowing no space for free, independent, and secular thoughts to thrive and flourish.
For over a decade, Nigerian schools, colleges, polytechnics, and universities have been bedeviled by the actions of cultists and criminals. Tertiary institutions especially have been scenes of indescribable violence against students by other students. School authorities have often attributed the problems to students’ lack of faith, godlessness, or religious indifference. Some have turned to religious leaders for help, and they now flock to the campuses to hold crusades, prayer sessions, and revivals. But the problems have not been solved.
There is no longer any clear demarcation between religious duties and academic work.
Before the advent of colonial rule, education occurred in traditional manners as practiced by the family units and communities. There was little cross-fertilization between ethnic groups; self-governing communities and very little documentation took place. While in some parts of the country, religious schools existed, particularly in the Northern region.Moral Problems
The obvious questions that immediately come to mind include the following. What is knowledge? How is it gathered? How can it be imparted from one persons to another? What are the tools and other requirements that are needed for the process of imparting knowledge? Who are those responsible for this process?
I wish to answer these questions in the context of what has transpired in the education sector in our communities and country, Nigeria over the last 52 years of Independence.Moral Problems
Western-style education came to our shores when early European missionaries aided by the merchants began to penetrate the lands from the Atlantic coast in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Obviously the context of education brought by these missionaries bore huge component of religiosity and high emphasis on morality.Moral Problems