It is no more news that the Kwara state government has temporarily shut grant-aided schools in Ilorin pending the resolution of an ongoing Hijab controversy in the State, since yesterday.
Christian Youths in the state berate Government’s action, and demand immediate re-opening.
The candidate of the Mass Action Joint Alliance (MAJA), in the 2019 presidential election, Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies reacted saying, “Where, are we coming from? Where are we going? How did we get here? Why biting the fingers that fed us all! Why destroying missionaries schools in Kwara state? It’s time to return the schools back to the owners.
It’s high time the government hands off.”
Adesanya-Davies exclaimed, ”For heaven sake, and for crying out loud, take a look at the names of the schools as announced on Friday by “Kemi Adeosun, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development:
The affected schools are the Cherubim and Seraphim (C&S) College, Sabo Oke, St. Anthony College, Offa Road, ECWA School, Oja Iya, Surulere Baptist Secondary School and Bishop Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam, CAC Secondary School, Asa Dam, St. Barnabas Secondary School, Sabo Oke, St. John School, Maraba, St. Williams Secondary School, Taiwo Isale and St. James Secondary School, Maraba.
All these are supposedly Christian schools built by missionaries on Christian principles and were ben administered by their churches in the past!
History would remind us that until the middle of the 20th Century, all the governments of the various regions in Nigeria did was to give grants‐in‐aid to the voluntary agencies that operated approved schools while a few “government schools” were established in a few strategic towns.
“After the Nigeria‐Biafra civil war in 1970, some State governments took over the complete ownership and control of all educational institutions in their areas of jurisdiction.
The educational policies and practices of the voluntary agencies were condemned as being foreign‐oriented, irrelevant to Nigeria’s needs, and divisive in the sense that denominational schools encouraged religious and tribal bigotry and unhealthy rivalry among the citizens.”
It was also argued that state take‐over of all schools would enable the government to plan the education system as part of the national integrated plan for social and economic development, but today it is not so.
Now, I would rather suggest and support a relatively low control of the education system by the government and indeed a revisit and reverse of state take‐over of the mission schools back to the owners based on mutual agreement.
Voluntary agencies and private individuals should be allowed to own and run their own schools completely at their own expense within the broad framework of government regulations.
Assuredly, many Nigerians objected to the unilateral seizure and control of church and private schools by the government. People argued that it was illegal to dispossess the voluntary agencies of schools they built mostly with their own resources without first of all working out an agreement with them which should include adequate compensation.
As someone rightly noted again, “Now the controversy is about who determine the school Uniform? .“It is the duty of the schools to determine and choose uniforms and not students or parents. If the students and parents are not pleased, they are to choose other schools.
It is not by compulsion that their wards attend those particular schools.” She asserts.
Let’s allow sleeping dog