Catholic Blames Ruins in Schools to Government taking Over, Begs Osun for Friendly Policies

The principal of Our Lady and St Francis Catholic College, Rev Fr. Peter Akinsanya, said ''Nigerian government taking over missionary schools led to the ruins the sector is encountering."

The principal who made this pleas during a press briefing held at the school premises to mark 25th anniversary establishment of the college also pleaded with Osun State government for policies that will further embolden groups and individual to actively participate in development of education sector.

The Catholic Church, he said, has always understand her fundamental mission to be the formation of the human person into true image and likeness willed by the creator.

He said, "The Catholic mission thus was responsible for the education of a significant part of the first generation persons in Nigeria. Unfortunately, government takeover of all mission schools by military decree paralyzed this effort for decades, thus commencing the decline of education in Nigeria.

" The church always considered as emergency any situation that places obstacle in the education of young people.

He said that was why in spite of the significant resources that the church lost to the decision of the government to take over; the church could not but return again to intervene in the education of young people.

Rev. Fr. Akinsanya noted that, "in the then Oyo diocese, the situation degenerates to a level where it was becoming difficult for students to sit for and pass the School Certificate Examination at once, the authority of the Catholic Church had to establish Our Lady & St. Francis Catholic Continuing Education Center for candidates who need tutorial classes for them to reseat their examinations and pass same without any form of examinations malpractice.

He pleaded with Osun state government to put together polices that will further strengthen the education sector in the state.

According to him, " It is our expectation that the government would encourage individuals and groups who shares the vision and passion of Catholic school for holistic education by evolving friendly policies that will drive the private sector to actively participate in development of human capital in Osun State.

Part of the side line of the press briefing, the professor of History and International Relations, Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Richard Olaniyan laid credence to the position of the principal, said, "schools were established as the handmaiden of evangelization. The missionaries came, built churches and established schools which served both the church and society. In this enterprise, the church and the State became partners in the provision of education. This was until the second half of the 1970s when government took over funning of schools from private and voluntary organizations and it marked the beginning of the end of good education, the collapse of education at all levels in Nigeria.

He noted that the ill-advised action by government stifled the provision the provision of the spiritual dimension of the Catholic education, rooted in age-old values and anchored on faith.

He opined, "The education sector has not been the same again. The quality of education has suffered a terrible decline, and the effect is still very much with us.The tragedy is the individuals' loss of their capacity for contributing to the attainment of the common good, defined as the integral good of the society through which individuals realize their well-being or 'reach their fulfilment more fully and easily'.

He said, "As a result, civic values and civic consciousness are constantly being eroded among the youths today causing them to engage in violence, drugs, excessive drinking, criminality of all kinds, sexual immortality, and so on. The problem with youths who engage in such anti-social behaviors is that they choose to enjoy a freedom not anchored on moral and Christian principles such as honesty, freedom, justice, human rights and responsibilities.

"Through the unreasonableness and high-handedness of government and overzealousness of some of its agents, some missionary and private agency schools were taken over by government, without appropriate and equitable compensation. As a result standard of education fell in those institutions moral education fizzled out. Education at all levels has since been derailed from its track of accomplishments."

Citing examples, he noted that Anambra and Benue are the two states where schools have been returned to their original owner and are doing well, much better than others. He concluded

Catholic Blames Ruins in Schools to Government taking Over, Begs Osun for Friendly Policies Catholic Blames Ruins in Schools to Government taking Over, Begs Osun for Friendly Policies Reviewed by KOC on 15:43 Rating: 5

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