By Rev. Fr. Evaristus Offor
Jesus Christ the Master and Lord of the world has brought light, freedom, justice and peace, truth to humanity, and enjoined his disciples to continue from where he stopped. No doubt, the apostles did their best in making sure that both the gospel and scientific knowledge reached our generation, through the white missionaries.
It is now imperative on us Christians of today to continue the spiritual journey through frank and honest support for mission schools. There is need to train moral teachers through the instrumentality of mission schools, who will in turn help in schooling and learning vital theological, philosophical and social questions for the good of the Church and society, by developing an African theology, by promoting the work of inculturation, by publishing books and publicizing religio-moral truths, by undertaking assignments given by bishops and by contributing to the scientific study of cultures.
In the curriculum of such religious education, our youths will learn cultural elements, which can offer the Church and society the possibility of presence and action in the fields of cultural and scientific and technical exchange. They will offer genuine dialogue that will explain humanity, family, work, economy, society, politics and international relations, values of life, the environs. They will offer places for listening, respect and tolerance. Religious education will help direct and maintain religious identity that will move in the directions faithful t the teaching of the Church’s magisterium.
In our search for economic and political stability, and a new social order, our kids should be taught in the Church’s social doctrine, which will help the Church in Africa serenity to prepare a pastoral plan which spread to the heart of Africans and enables them to be reconciles to themselves by following Christ. By providing and supplying a pastoral outreach to the life of the intellect and reason so as to foster a habit of rational dialogue and critical analysis with society and in the Church. By the grace of God our religious education will offer us a rebirth on the continent, albeit, surely in and different forms of thinking, especially that of the prestigious School of Alexandria. Mission schools will furnish us today with great theologians, philosophers, as well as grounded professors, who will contribute to the sanctification of Africans and the whole world especially our political jobbers.
Missionary pedagogical strategies will surely craft on our socio-political platforms, philosophical ideologies that will lead us to finding the much eluded philosopher kings, for good governance in Africa as a whole. With well packaged mission schools with sophisticated pedagogical and religio-moral imperatives, we will embrace a society of stoics and not epicureans; a society of mystics and not corruption; a society of detribalized citizens and a society of cabals, oligarchs, religious bigots and political monopolists. Now that the tumultuous and cyclonic elections have come and passed, it is only lucidly and ethically right for the State to embark on the process of returning private and mission schools without further delay. The take-over of such schools has brought us a lot of harm psychotically, morally, spiritually and even rationally. No one doubts the fact, that schools take-over has indoctrinated our society with all forms of criminalities and immorality, ranging from political psychosis, moral depravity and spiritual cankerworm. There is no doubt that our modern educational system has only succeeded in bastardizing our climate with evils such as armed robbery, kidnapping, cyber-atrocities, political misnomers, etc.
The encyclical letter, Divini Redemptoris of 1937 was addressed to the world to warn people of a phenomenon which threatens all mankind. The continued rebuttal or disinclination of the government to handover mission schools is only but the road to further darkness and emptiness. Hence, all good Christians in the name of Christian civilization must be aware of a mortal danger that we all must collaborate against as a common enemy. The refusal to handover schools in toto, is a communistic trend employed to propagate its contents and philosophies. This trend is Bolshevistic and atheistic as it conceals in itself a false messianic idea, based on principles of dialectical and historical materialism.
The modern trend destroys morality, readership, industry, indiscipline, and morality. It debases our human society whereby some hoodlums invade and dehumanize religious people, kidnap and maim and kill them. Our society is full of partial truths and fake news presented with diabolical craftiness. Due to lack of moral excellence in the school curriculum, our society has been fatally plague-ridden with conspiracy of silence of the elite, the press and trado-cultural groups. In the absence of proper religious education in our schools today, dangerous vices have eclipsed moral rectitude such as cultism, terror, rape, and so on, and are anti-religious and natural order. The import of religious education is that it teaches us about the existence and love of God and neighbor, the nature and respect for humanity and even civil duties and the State. Religion teaches the need for social justice, charity, peace, and responsibility in the socio-economic order, superiority of Church’s social doctrine. Religious education also dignifies human labor and aims at a Christian brotherhood. Due lack of moral upbringing especially in government schools, present crop of rulers are building social edifices on the sands of liberalism and callous secularism, which abhor godliness, true freedom and drives for eternity. Without waste of time, there is need for the return of mission schools eclectically so as to coach our kids in the basic Christian principles that will affect positively both in private and public life. The imperative of mission school is the lesson to detach from earthly goods which of course, have turned our politics, religion, economy and culture into disordered country.