The chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and director of the Centre for Presidential Studies at the Igbinedion University, Okada, Professor Adeolu Akande has explained that it is important that Churches should establish schools that ordinary members of the church can afford.
Akande, who was guest speaker at the foundation ceremony of Precious Cornerstone University, said that when churches create schools that are unaffordable for members, the place of religion in charting a new path for education development becomes elusive.
Speaking on the role of religion in education and national development, Akande, who is noted for multi-disciplinary approach to the address of socio-economic problems of Nigeria, said that “Suffice it to say the missionaries laid the foundation of good quality and good moral education in Nigeria, but the military government and subsequent governments destroyed all that by improper management when they took over schools from the church and other private organisations.
“This resulted in academic and moral degradation in the schools, which prompted the rise of new church schools and private schools. If we are desirous of charting a new developmental part for the nation, we must realise the place of religion in education. It is, however, not enough to establish schools that ordinary church members cannot afford to send their wards; hence making the purpose for which the schools were established elusive,” he said.
Speaking on the argument that the control and administration of education should solely be placed in the hands of the government, the professor or comparative politics disagreed.
He argued that it is obvious that the fallen standards of education and morality in the country today can be traced to the neglect of proper education and moral training in public schools.
“Some have argued that education is better left in the hands of the government and that schools should be secular and humanitarian. This argument is not new. It came up before the takeover of schools by the federal government in 1970 (Igwe, 2003). Many Nigerians cannot forget in a hurry the gross neglect of education and religious-moral training in public schools by the government that brought about the fallen standards of education and morality in most educational establishments in Nigeria today.
“It is very obvious that school leavers in the days of the missionary schools were more disciplined and honest than today’s graduates from many schools in Nigeria (Ayomide, 2016). This is to point out the effect of religious and moral education in missionary schools in the past, which is very much lacking in most Nigerian schools today.
“This is why I am convinced that church schools are highly needed today in the Nigerian society and that they need to offer strong religious and moral discipline as well as free or subsidised quality education to all.”
Established in 2017, Precious Cornerstone University, PCU, is a private higher-education institution located in the metropolis of Ibadan, Oyo State.
Officially recognized by the National Universities Commission, NUC, PCU is a co-educational Nigerian higher education institution formally affiliated with the Christian-Nondenominational religion.
PCU offers courses and programmes leading to officially recognized higher education degrees in several areas of study.
PCU also provides several academic and non-academic facilities and services to students and the general public.