Religious education and nation-building in Nigeria

Ajah, Miracle (2015)

CITATION: Ajah, M. 2016. Religious education and nation-building in Nigeria. Stellenbosch Theological Journal, 1(2):263–282, doi:10.17570/stj.2015.v1n2.a12.

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After the Nigerian Civil War in 1970, the federal government took over schools founded by religious groups because education was thought to be a huge government venture and no longer a private enterprise. Prior to this time, Nigerian leaders benefitted from the free education offered by missionaries, which became the bedrock for Nigerian nationalism and independence. Most people argue that the sudden takeover of the schools by the government brought about the collapse of education that was hitherto reputed for high standards in learning and morality. Hence, the call for return of mission schools by pressure groups became rife. Conversely, in the wake of the return of mission schools by some states in the federation, stakeholders have expressed divergent views, citing denominational sentiments, tribal prejudices and unhealthy rivalry among citizens as problems that could militate against national integration and development. This article aims at examining the divergent views in the light of the role of religious education (RE) in nation building and integration.

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