By Prof.Herbert Eze
Special for ASSIST News Service
NNEWI, NIGERIA (ANS) -- I am in support that religious leaders should be allowed to control schools because they provide moral and spiritual values in education which are lacking in government established schools.
Spiritual and moral values are foundational to learning. A school without these values is like a house that is built on the sand. These values are basic teachings on how to be right with God and human beings including our environment. They are supposed to be inculcated in us from the beginning of our up-bringing right from home and to continue in our schooling.
The fear of God is said to be the beginning of wisdom. By this we understand that God must be given his proper place in our education beginning with honor and respect. To run a school without prayers and dependence to God is to ignore God. This is total disrespect to the one who deserves our utmost respect and dependence. It is disastrous to any educational project.
Religious leaders who first established and controlled Nigeria schools in the past excelled in their performance by promoting spiritual and moral values in education. Such schools had very positive impact on society through disciplined living and high moral standards compared to the alarming rate of corruption and indiscipline bedeviling the Nigeria society following the government take-over and control of faith-based schools.
Religious leaders are prudent in their use of money meant for running schools. They achieve low cost in their expenditures on buildings and other necessities. Their direct-labor approach in constructions and purchases remove the extra cost and charges involved in the use of the middle-man or contractor. This low cost is hardly found in government controlled schools where the contract system inflates cost and encourages corruption thereby making the cost of running government schools to be excessively high.
The outcome of reckless and excessive spending in government controlled schools in Nigeria is that money supposed to be used in providing structures for the employment of graduates is wasted leaving the graduates to roam the streets endlessly; some form gangs in frustration and cause havoc in society.
It is in recognition of the resulting moral decadence and unprecedented corruption an d violence in Nigeria following the government take-over and control of faith-based schools that some state governors are returning the schools to their former owners. This is a good step in the right direction though belated. Other state governors should follow this example. The government should also create enabling environment and just laws to foster the establishment of new schools that are faith-based and driven by good moral standards.