MORAL PRINCIPLES AND EDUCATION
[Being Chief Bisi Akande’s speech at the Commissioning of a Block of ten classrooms in his honour at the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Osun Northeast Diocese, Bishop’s Court, Otan Aiyegbaju on Wednesday, 12th October, 2016]
Taming man for cooperative living
Before the advent of family, group and community life, man’s mind was a selfish instrument. It generated intentions, stimulated decisions and promoted actions towards man’s selfish interests only. It took a lot of experiments to tame the mind to love man’s family; it took a foray into agriculture before the mind could relax man to live peacefully with his neighbours; and it took a lot of efforts to wean man’s mind from “self only” and to get man to cooperate with members of his community to protect his environments.
Over time, ethical communal cooperation developed into generational and geographical cultural affiliations.
With the progress of civilizations, social ethics became established and moral regulations were codified–all targeted towards communal harmony and universal understanding. Thus, along the line, in every society and in all religious scriptures, rules were developed for morality to which man’s obedience were commanded and about which his offsprings were educated. Out of such efforts arose “Missionary schools” in Nigeria since the nineteenth century.
Missionary Schools as agents of moral instructions
Whether in Islamic Madaris or in any evangelical learning centres, all Missionary schools known to Nigerians were institutions for moral instructions. Therefore, to take over schools from the missionaries is equivalent to an attempt to expunge morality from the lives of the Nigerian children. Military intervention in governance itself is immoral and ungodly. Those Nigerian military adventurists who forcefully seized power in Nigeria deliberately came to violently loot our resources. In order to lay the foundation for their stupendous immorality and corruption, the military therefore had to snatch schools from the missionaries and to retire from the inherited public life “with immediate effect” men and women with some moral credentials who were old products of the missionary schools.
Military take-over of missionary schools enthroned immorality
Consequently, today, the fraudsters, the drug barons, the thugs and the vagabonds compete effectively and successfully to displace gentlemen and women of moral integrity from political leadership space. The overall result of the military interventions in governance in our polity is the pain Nigeria suffers today from lawless and lackadaisical attitudes of everybody to work. The resultant effect of the populace’s criminal attitude to work is a major plank providing the bedrock for the ongoing economic recession in our country.
The Way Forward
My plea is for the missionaries to run schools side by side with other educational stakeholders in order to enable our society have a choice in producing future players in the employment markets.
Where free education is the public policy, as it should be throughout Nigeria, let the government concerned grant-aid the missionaries to the tune of tuition fees payable by the pupils in public/government-owned schools.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am happy that, by the example of this Anglican Diocese school, the missionaries are resuming a fresh era of providing moral instructions to future generations of leaders.
I salute the Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for his government’s assistance in seeing this project through.
And, indeed, I am grateful to His Lordship, Bishop Olumakaiye, for, whatever might be his motivation, deciding to commission this block of ten(10) classrooms in my honour.
May God bless the aspirations of the Osun North East Diocese’ Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) for siting this school in its Bishop’s Court at Otan Aiyegbaju.
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