Abuja – The Arch-Bishop of Abuja Arch-Diocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, on Friday in Abuja urged the Federal Government to take urgent steps to improve the standard of education.
Onaiyekan gave the charge at the inauguration of the “Cor Mariae College’’ established by the National Council of Catholic Women Organisation of Nigeria (NCCWO).
A mass was celebrated as part of the inauguration.
The cardinal said good education was the responsibility of the government adding that Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) could only complement government’s efforts.
“The government has a responsibility to make sure that our educational system works well because, at the end of the day, the responsibility of good education lies in the hands of the government.
“Groups like us, NCCWO and other NGOs can only complement government efforts.
“It is very sad because the big people who are running our public education, who are involve in the strike negotiations, do not have their children in those schools,’’ Onaiyekan said.
According to him, the poor children are those being thrown outside waiting for the strike to end, this is a serious matter.
The clergyman expressed joy at the effort of the organisation and stressed the need for the catholic women to extend their hands of fellowship to other areas such as politics and business.
In her remarks, the National President of NCCWO, Mrs Felicia Onyeabo, said it was the high level of moral decadence in the country that necessitated the establishment of the school.
Onyeabo said the school would combine academic excellence and moral upbringing in other to prepare good leaders for the future of the country.
“The NCCWO had identified the absence of moral and civic education as some of the root causes of moral decadence and lack of patriotism in Nigeria.
“It has been five decades of this situation that has given birth to unbridled greed, indiscipline, cultism, banditry, drug abuse, primitive wealth acquisition, and lack of patriotism among Nigerians.
“The college will combine academic excellence with moral upbringing in order to begin to raise up a crop of leaders for the future of the country,’’ she said.
Onyeabo said the council was not out to make profit but to build good leaders and called on the Federal Government to support private schools.
Speaking at the mass service, Arch-Bishop of Ibadan Arch-diocese, Rev. Alaba Job, prayed God to bless all those who had made the project possible as well as the children that would use the school.
Job urged the women to draw strength from God almighty by being filled with the Holy Spirit to enable them to run the Christian race to the finish and receive the crown of salvation when they die.
The guests were treated to traditional dances and music by the Enugu-Anambra-Ebonyi catholic community cultural group.
The school which is a block of 12 classrooms, has a principal’s office, staff room, dormitory, accommodation for members of staff, kitchen and 12 toilets. (NAN)