Acting Head, Department of Religion Studies, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Dr. Musa Ismail, has underscored the importance of education focused on moral and spiritual development to Nigeria’s advancement.
He spoke while delivering the keynote speech titled: “Sustaining Missionary Schools in the Next Decade” at the Jimoh Adisa Gbadamosi Annual Symposium (JAGAS 2020).
It was organised by the school’s old students association (ACAOSA) to celebrate the 93rd birthday of Alhaji Jimoh Gbadamosi, their former principal last Wednesday.
Describing such mix of moral and spiritual development in education as ‘integrated education’, Ismail said it would benefit the rank and file of the society.
He added that it was a balanced form of education that was ‘God-centred’ and result-oriented.
“Integrated education will be of huge benefit to the society at large because it is God-centred, therefore it is quite important.It should reflect in all subjects taught and the whole education process. Sadly, most schools provide lopsided and unbalanced education which cannot take us anywhere.
“God should reflect in all pedagogy, He is the source of all knowledge.Education should not be material-based. Schools should take cognisance of the the role of God in the process of education,” he said.
Ismail lamented that most schools provided lopsided education which lacked moral values. Harping on the need for morally-sound and God-centred learning, he decried how schools purchased results for their pupils, worsening the quality of education in the process.
“We know how schools procure WAEC results for their students. It is terrible because students who are produced that way would not be able to solve problems in the society. For instance, Coronavirus is a serious problem; we should accelerate research for its cure,” he said.
To move missionary schools forward, Ismail said learning at all levels should reflect the concept of God, adding that “we cannot dichotomise knowledge into spiritual and material.“
Speaking on “Funding of education: Mission schools in the 21st Century”, during a panel discussion that followed, Rev. Adesoji Adetubo said funding was a collective responsibility and should not be left in the hands of government alone.
“Funding should be a collective responsibility.Many people believe the government alone should finance education because it collects taxes and levies. People should note that, anything free is unreliable and lacks the expected added value. Hence, funding should not be left for government alone,” he said.
Revd. Adetubo urged mission schools to generate funds from Parent Teacher Association (PTA) levies, grants, donations and others instead of relying solely on government.
The Lagos State Education Commissioner, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, who was represented by the Director-General, Office of Quality Assurance, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, said the state was committed to education and placed premium on technology as a driver of educational development.
She praised the celebrator, Alhaji Gbadamosi, for his meritorious service to the school, describing him as an “icon in education”.
General Secretary, Anwar-Ul-Islam Movement of Nigeria, Dr. Abdulateef Jokomba, praised the school’s alumni and urged them to sustain their momentum towards developing their alma mater because school fees were not enough to run the school.
Earlier in his address, President General, ACAOSA, Mr. Lawal Pedro thanked Gbadamosi for his excellent service to the school. He however, chided the government for failing to turn the education sector around.
Also speaking, chairman on the occasion, Alhaji Fatai Kekere-Ekun, lauded the celebrator and his late wife for being “paragons of education”.
He wondered how mission schools would cope if government did not fund them adequately.
It was an occasion filled with fun and warmth as old boys reunited after ages.
Discussants were presented with awards.