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‘Why government must work with mission schools’

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Rev. Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins

The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Adewale Martins has urged government to create a conducive atmosphere that would further attract better collaboration with both the private schools and the mission in order to provide qualitative education in the country from the primary to the tertiary levels.

Making this appeal recently during the Blessing of Maria Mater Christi School Chapel,  Rev Sisters Convent and Commissioning of the JAMB CBT Centre, Dunum Christi Schools, Lekki, the Archbishop said such collaboration has become necessary in view of the fact that government alone cannot adequately provide and  manage the enormous resources required for the sector’s growth.

Archbishop Martins who led several priests, nuns, students and hundreds of guests to the event, including the retired Archbishop of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, noted that a better collaboration between the government and the other major stakeholders, will help to bring back the lost glory in the educational sector.

According to him, the decay and dwindling level of performances being experienced in many of our public schools was as a result of long-time neglect, inadequate funding and refusal of the government to accord qualitative education its rightful pride of place.

He said, “If private and mission schools are to function well, government should act as collaborators, they should set standards, they should supervise, They also have to give incentives particularly for mission schools to thrive because mission schools are not there to make profits.”
Recalling the good old days and the great role played by mission schools in moulding its students, Archbishop Martins said the mission schools were given grants in other to carry out their activities, and wondered why such grants, including tax free incentives should not be introduced in view of the decay the sector is now experiencing. The cleric also urged government to be consistent in making policies as regards the growth of the sector.

Earlier, the Archbishop commended the proprietor of the school,  Soji Olagunju for his initiative in collaborating with the church by employing the services of nuns in the day-to-day running of the schools.

Olagunju is also the Chairman of Lumen Christi Television Network, the first privately owned Catholic television station in Africa.

“These innovations you have introduced will no doubt impact positively, not only on the standard of education you will be providing for your students, but also in the overall interest of the school. This gesture is note-worthy because you will be providing quality education for which the Catholic Church is well noted for all over the years.”

Archbishop Martins later commissioned the ultra-modern JAMB CBT Centre located within the expansive school compound with a capacity to hold over 200 candidates at a single sitting.


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