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INDIGENOUS AGENTS AND THE SCHOOL APOSTOLATE IN UKWUANILAND, 1841–1941

Jones U Odil

Abstract


In the 19th century, colonial educational policy reflected the hesitant approach of Britain to a field recognised in those days as the reserve of religious bodies, and for many years the missionary societies had the field of education to themselves. Education in C.M.S. mission schools in Nigeria received no aids in grants from the colonial government. This article is a historical reconstruction, which brings to light the well-articulated contributions of local people in their attempt to establish and fund schools using indigenous initiatives, personnel and resources. Resting on the self-propagating, self-supporting and self-governing policy of Henry Venn, the study reveals that, although the establishment of schools in Ukwuaniland 1841–1894 was originally the outcome of the expression of local needs, efforts and ideas, the Anglican churches there saw in them an agency for promoting evangelism. This article, an important contribution in the area of the history of religion and education, recommends that local initiatives, needs and aspirations should be taken into consideration in the formulation of education policy in Nigeria.


Keywords


education policy; evangelism; local initiatives; Nigeria

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