Missionary Rivalry and Educational Expansion in Nigeria, 1885-1945

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Evidence abounds in the research literature to show that wherever the Protestant and Catholic missionaries met in Africa, opposition, antagonism and rivalry flared between them. In Nigeria, missionary rivalry was even more intense. Education was an essential part of their ‘civilizing' mission because it was a way of winning converts, training Nigerian workers and catechists, and creating a Nigerian middle class. However, the rapid expansion of education, particularly in southern Nigeria, was actually the accidental outcome of missionary rivalry rather than the result of an altruistic policy to provide expanded educational opportunities for the Nigerian populace.


". . . a ground breaking study of missionary education in Nigeria under British rule. This detailed study would be of great assistance to a wide range of professionals interested in colonial education, education in church schools, the roots of education in industrializing countries, and in the cultural clash between Islamic and Western institutions in many parts of the world." – Dr. Donald Hill

". . . an excellent account of Nigeria's educational development from the beginning of colonialism in the late 19th century to the end of World War II. With Nigeria poised once again for transition to democratic rule, understanding the past can provide insight into Nigeria's future." – Dr. Richard Glotzer

Table of Contents

Table of contents:

List of illustrations, Foreword, Introduction

1.Nigeria – Brief History: Its Land and People; Early Kingdoms and Empires; Making of Modern Nigeria; Britain and Modern Nigeria; British Indirect Rule in Nigeria; Era of Nigerian Independence

2.Traditional Education in Nigeria: Islamic Education in Nigeria

3.Western Education in Nigeria: First Attempt at Western/Formal Education in Southern Nigeria; Origins of 19th Century Missions; Advent of the Church Missionary Society in Nigerian Mission field; Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society; Baptist Convention of Southern United States of America; Presbyterian Mission; Catholic Mission; Vicariate of the Bight of Benin; Response to Missionary Education in Southern Nigeria; Development of Western Education in Northern Nigerian

4.Missionary Rivalry and Educational Expansion in Nigeria 1885-1945: School Revolution in Nigeria; Roman Catholic Mission and School Revolution; Founding of Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Onitsha; Missionary Rivalry West of the Niger; Results of Church and Christian Missionary Rivalry; Why Christian Missionary Education was a Dismal Failure in Northern Nigeria; Britain's Laissez-Faire Educational Policy and Its Consequences; Colonial Government Intervention in Education; Nationalist Governments and Introduction of Universal Primary Education Schemes in the 1950s

5.Government Take-Over of Schools in Nigeria: East Central State Education Edict, 1970; Reasons for Government Take-Over; Education as a Fundamental Human Right; As a Means of Political Socialization, Social and Economic Development; Education Imbalance between the North and South; Educational Imbalance and the Nigerian Civil War; Education as an Investment; Disparity in Teachers' Conditions of Service; Religious Cleavages

6.Consequences of Government Take-Over: Universal Free Primary Education; National Policy on Education; National Values; How to Implement the Policy, Language; General Overview; Consequences of Government Intervention

Appendix: The Nigerian 6-3-3-4 System of Education at a Glance


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