A professor of African History and History of Religious Education, Abiodun Adesegun has called for a thorough overhaul of public education in Africa through the use of Seventh – day Adventist (SDA) educational enterprise model.
Professor Adesegun made the call while delivering the 42nd inaugural lecture of Babcock University.
In his paper, “Seventh – day Adventist Higher Educational Enterprise in Africa: Cleaning the Augean Stable in Public Education”, Professor Adesegun said the components of SDA education model were time- tested and true and stood the chance of offering the needed succour to an almost comatose public education.
According to him, SDA educational enterprise model has a lot of ingredients from which administrators of schools across Africa could borrow to revitalize the system.
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“It is time to clean the Augean Stable by adopting and adapting approaches that could make positive impact on the state of things across the continent,” he added.
Professor Adesegun said “the SDA education, which is based on the Bible, the word of God, is a distinctive and unique approach to reality, truth and value.”
He also suggested that it was “high time to look at what faith based institutions are doing with a view to adapt what is adaptable from them.”
Professor Adesegun said SDA emphasizes the teachings of the Bible and the inculcation of spiritual and ethical values in all of her educational institutions.
For instance, in Babcock University, SDA flagship institution, Professor Adesegun said there is compulsory residency and chapel worship irrespective of religious affiliation.
In addition, students of other denominations or religious affiliations are still allowed at fixed times like Sunday to go and worship in their own peculiar manner without let or hindrance.
He noted that all students irrespective of discipline are required to register for and take a course on Life and Teaching of Christs to get them acquainted with God.
Besides, faculty, staff and students are expected to model Christ’s decorum in behaviour, conversation, and a dress code that is strictly implemented, and students stand to be penalized when in breach of this.
Professor Adesegun said the SDA also believed in promoting a healthier lifestyle in order for the students to be fit to serve God and fellow humans and to prevent diseases as much as possible.
According to him, SDA school administrators are mandated by policy to create job opening for students who are willing to work to earn their way through school.
This, according to him, is done so that when occupied in their spare time, they would have little or no time for vices such as cultism that tend to lead them in the wrong direction.
In SDA institutions, “Adventist educators and pastors, administrators and members usually make connecting with and making evangelisation of the current generation a top priority,” he added.
He said a lack of adequate funding by government and an equal lack of accountability and corporate governance has led some of the infrastructure in public schools to become decrepit, out modelled and not in touch with current realities.