By Etop Ekanem
THE Acting Provost of St Augustineâ€™s College of Education, Akoka, Rev. Sis. Maria Virginia Ajuze, has called for the inclusion of moral and religious education as compulsory subject in our education curriculum because it is essential for a balanced human development. According to her, individuals do not live out the virtues they are ignorant of.
She made the assertion recently during the 17th convocation ceremony of the college in Lagos where a total of 896 students received their certificates, comprising 24 NCE students, 862 B.Ed. students and 10 Catechists.
To strengthen the moral and ethical foundations of the young, she stressed that moral and religious education should be raised to the status of a compulsory subject like English Language and General Mathematics at the secondary school level.
Her words: â€œVirtues have to be taught, cultivated and nurtured in people first before expectations of various acts are made of them. Therefore, for science and technology to be really beneficial to the society, the fruits of the same science and technology have to be handled by individuals with well regulated pattern ofÂ behaviour, people of sufficient moral integrity.
â€œNowadays, people complain against corruption and immorality, gross indiscipline among the youth, examination malpractice, intellectual dishonesty, and the rest of them. The youth should be made to learn the social virtues at the early stages of their educational life. Any form of neglect in inculcating the right virtues in children must certainly spell out social woes for that society.â€
The Acting Provost said the college, which is affiliated to the University of Ibadan, had produced more than 9,000 quality teachers since inception in 1971.
She said the college needed to be encouraged and supported in her pursuit of the vision of its founding fathers, â€œespecially at this time when the moral tone of the nation is reputed to be at its lowest ebb. This will surely serve as a mechanism for building a healthier and corruption-free Nigeria, thus paving the way for an improved national economic development.â€