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Living the Future in Dialogue

Towards a New Integral and Transformative Model of Religious Education for Nigeria in the 21 st Century


Chizurum Ann Ugbor

This book challenges the faith-oriented conversion that encourages an exclusivist and monological approach to religious education in schools. «Living the Future in Dialogue» develops a new pedagogical paradigm for Nigeria: the «Integral and Transformative Model». Using a systematic approach, the book discusses the Christian tradition in light of the existence of other religions and worldviews. Religious education must encourage pupils to develop their own religious identities and respond to plurality to become members of a multicultural and multi-religious society. It is presented as an enrichment of a human being in relation to the self, world and God and the community as the locus where the human person is taught to develop the language of love, trust and hope.
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Chapter One: Nigeria’s Education Policy and Current Nigerian Approaches to Religious Education: Background to Research


Education, no doubt, plays a crucial role in shaping the development of people in any country. Nigeria among the developing countries in Africa relies on education to advance its development in all perspectives: socio-economic, political, cultural and psychological and as well, promoting national unity. This presupposes an integral and relevant educational policy that is adequately responsive to respective peoples’ needs. Besides, the educational system is often looked upon as pacesetter in terms of people’s projections of their own challenges.

Education in Nigeria is as old as the country itself and is considered as a formative process that enables the citizens to meet up their challenging and changing situations to live and fit in a dynamic society. In other words, education is generally seen as a long life process of socialisation of human individuals through systematic transformation and preservation of cultural values.1 As the country grows and develops so also the educational system continuously changes to meet the (specific) needs of the people. The Nigerian educational system has served the country for several decades, recording several innovations and reforms in almost all aspects of peoples’ lives. Nevertheless, it still faces several problems today. In the opinion of many,2 the education standards in Nigeria have for some time now dropped and the trend continues. The anomalies associated with this downward shall be explored in this chapter.

So, for a comprehensive understanding of the educational developments in Nigeria, this chapter is divided into two sections. Section I examines...

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