Devote Greater Attention To Education, Okogie Tells FG
Jul 12, 2006
Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, has urged the Federal Government to devote greater attention to education.
This Day (Lagos, July 9, 2006) "They (government) are not taking care of education as it should be; they cannot say money is the problem because we have the money," Okogie told newsmen yesterday in Lagos at the First Catholic Archdiocese, Lagos, Education Summit.
The summit had as its theme: "Catholic Education in Lagos Archdiocese within the 21st Century".
He urged the participants to consider in their discussions "Nigeria's permissive society where little or no thought is given to the spiritual side of man".
"This is a result of the half-baked education in vogue today. Our youths must be rescued from the clutches of materialism and given the correct orientation for a better life; there should be emphasis on christian education", he said.
He further urged the participants to evolve strategies to correct, elevate, regulate and perfect the church's present system of education, stressing that they would provide the road map that would shape the educational system of the church.
In his address, Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Lagos State, said that his administration's bold decision to return schools to the missions had paid off, noting that: "there is tremendous improvement in academic and moral discipline in the schools involved'.
"For many years the standard of education and morals among our children in public schoiols fell to an abysmal level. This scenario prompted this adminstration to return 48 mission schools to their original owners", he recalled.
Tinubu said that as part of the state's efforts to raise the standard of education, it created six new educational districts to replace the defunct Post Primary Teaching Service Commission.
Each of these districts is being headed by a Permanent Secretary and Tutor General, which is the first of its kind in the history of education management in Nigeria.
He added that the state government had fully embraced the implementation of the UBE 9-3-4 programme, stressing that "it is now an offence for any parent to deny any school age child from going to school".
"Without resting on our oars, we will continue to initiate and implement various educational policies and programmes germane to the future growth and development of our children and youths in the society," the governor said.
Tinubu urged the participants to work out appropriate strategies that would further improve and enrich the quality of schools' curricula in Nigeria.
Tinubu was represented by Dr Leke Pitan, the state Commissioner for Education.
The Rev. John Aniagwu, Chairman of the Board of Council of St. Augustine's College of Education, Lagos, in a paper entitled "an Overview of Catholic Education in The Lagos Archdiocese", urged that due attention be given to cultural education.
"Education, in the culture and traditions of Nigerians, should be taught as it is all too often the case that vast majority of products of our schools are abysmally ignorant of these things.
"The programme of culture education will embrace subjects like African and Nigerian history, worldview and anthropology, traditional models of governance, music, arts and craft," Aniagwu said.