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THE IMPACT OF TEACHING AND LEARNING CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS STUDIES IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN AKWANGA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF NASARAWA STATE.

| Format: Ms Word | 1-5 Chapters | Table of Content|

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Abstract

This research was carried out to examine the impact of teaching and learning Christian religious studies in secondary schools. A survey was conducted in some selected secondary schools in Akwanga Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. A sample size of one hundred and seventy one (171) respondents out of a total population of three hundred (300) students were used to provide the information using questionnaires. The lecturers and students were selected using random sampling technique. The study revealed that the secondary school students are misbehaving today, not only because of the negative societal influence but also because some homes have failed in their primary roles of inculcating socio-cultural values to the affected youths. It was also discovered that Christian religious studies has the capacity to reduce moral decadence and transform the lives of youths in the state. The study therefore recommends that: government should finance the education of Christian Religious teachers and should provide more job opportunities and with reasonable salary; parents should teach their children good morals and have more supervisory responsibilities over their children; youths should obey their parents and other authorities by keeping the rules and regulations of the society.

                                            CHAPTER ONE

                                          INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Rampant moral decays in contemporary societies leave unanswered questions on integration of moral values effectiveness in teaching. While this is a global issue, the rate and tension of it in Kaduna brings fear and trembling to indigenes and residents. Decadence of moral values in Nigerian secondary schools today, is expressed by such  behaviors like, disrespect for school authorities, teachers and parents, cultism, examination mal practice, arm robbery, substance abuse and drug trafficking, prostitution, rape cases, corruption  and violence behaviors (Ingber & Gilgoff, 2013).

There is therefore a wide gap which needs be filled through teaching and learning of Christian religious studies among our youths. The primary aim of teaching and learning of Christian religious studies is not based on instructing students in a particular faith or ideology with a view of securing their commitments but rather, it is educating students for the understanding of the Christian faith (Ilori, 2012). Again, the role of teaching and learning of Christian religious studies (CRS) is concerned about helping the students to understand the nature of the present secular and pluralistic society and to help them think rationally about the state and place of Christian religion in the society. This is with a view to enable them chose objectively between the many conflicting religious beliefs and practices prevalent in the society today.

Different perception of religion exist because of its complexity as man’s awareness of the existence of a supreme being and his inclination to worship him through intermediary of intermediaries. Religion could be defined as man’s search for extra-human divine, spiritual or supernatural assistance in achieving a sense of security. Christian Religious education is the study of God’s revelation to human beings through scriptures, the person of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit (The Trinity). The impact of teaching and learning Christian religious studies (CRS) is also intended to train youths mentally; morally and intellectually in order to make them useful to themselves and to the community they live in general. The teaching and learning of Christian’ religious studies is required for the understanding of God and His activities among human beings. This is aimed at helping the youths appreciated his creation and respond positively to him while they prepare for works, social interaction and religious affairs. Religious training and moral instruction should be accorded complete equality with secular subjects (Fafunwa, 2014). This is because religious instructions are believed to be capable of developing Nigerians who will; be properly integrated in the mainstream of good citizenry.

Nigeria is a nation morally and spiritually sick and without effective religious studies in our institutions, Nigerian as a nation will continue to experience political conflict, religious crisis, insurgencies and social unrest among other things. Christian religious studies are viewed as one of the means to restore moral and social order in the society. For instance, after a long description of the moral decay in Nigeria which is portrayed in rampant fraud, evidence of corruption in high and low places, bribery, stealing and robbery with violence, human trafficking, ritual killing, scandalous nepotism and political patronage and abuse of power, excessive materials and general indiscipline, Iheomia (2015) concludes by saying: “in the final analysis what matters most to a nation’s well-being is its spiritual and moral health. Everything else which a nation struggles for depends on this whether it is national integration, political stability, economic development or educational, scientific and technological progress.

Immoral incidents are being practiced by mostly educated youths today (Jain, 2012), there is a high demand for education systems in the country to find ways through which moral values can be integrated in the teaching and learning process. Research has indicated that exclusion of moral education in educational curriculum is among other factors, a major causative for moral degradation in the society. Studies have  further  regarded Religious Education as the backbone of moral values (Kowino, Agaki & Kochung, 2012; Ilechukwu & Ugwuozor, 2014; Musongole,  2010), yet  in  Nigeria, Christian  Religious  Studies,  whose primary objective  is to  prepare moral upright individuals in  the  society  (Ministry  of  Education  and  Vocational Training,  2007)  has  not  been  properly  integrated  even in Secondary  School  curriculum  in  the  sense  that  it  is optional  and  very  few  students  have  been  taking  it.  In some  cases, one  out  of  hundreds of  students  in a  class, may opt for Christian Religious Studies subject, and in some cases, taking the subject independently, without any guidance  from  trained  teachers  (Ngussa &  Role,  2015). Divinity subject,  for instance,  has always  been taught  by Church Ministers from various denominations, who may not  have  gone  through  teacher  training  courses,  thus, differing from other  academic subjects taught by trained teachers  (United  Republic  of  Tanzania,  2011). 

1.2 Problem Statement

The moral decadence among Nigerian youths overtime has been a source of major concern especially in Nasarawa where religious crisis keep reoccurring. The lack of effective teaching of these students moral and religious values has regrettably led to the eventual collapse of moral values and has increased social vices like fraud, corruption and immoral tendencies among youths especially secondary school students. Corruption has curiously been noticed among Nigerian youths and this doesn’t speak well of the future of Nigeria as the youths of today would eventually be the leaders of tomorrow. And if corruption is not checked among youths, it would be nearly impossible to eradicate corruption and other social vices in the country. This suggests an existing problem which will be addressed by the present study. Which is on the impact of teaching and learning Christian religious studies in secondary schools in Akwanga Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The primary aim of this study is to examine the impact of teaching and learning Christian religious studies in secondary schools Nasarawa State. The specific objectives of the study includes:

  1. To examine the relationship between Christian religious studies and eradication of moral decadence among students in Akwanga Local Government Area.
  2. To determine the level of Christian religious studies in curbing violence in Nasarawa State.
  3. To examine the level of teaching of Christian religious studies in Akwanga Local Government Area.
  4. To recommend ways of curbing moral decadence and corruption among students through Christian religious studies in Nasarawa State.

1.4 Significance of the study

This study would be of immense importance to scholars and researchers who are interested in this subject matter. This study also seeks to educate the general public on the need to eradicate corruption through the effective teaching of Christian religious studies in Akwanga Local Government Area, Nasarawa State. The study would be beneficial to students, teachers, religious instructors, curriculum planners, educational administrators, researchers and textbook authors. To students, the study would help to improve their understanding of CRS and thus adjust properly in the society through active participation in the classroom leaning which stimulate their interest and change the negative perceptions they already have in learning CRS and this invariably help them to develop the affective domain of knowledge in secondary schools. The findings here will also serve as a resource materials for future scholars who may pick interest on the same area of study.

1.5 Research Questions

The following are research questions would be of help in the cause of our research:

  1. Is there any significant relationship between Christian religious studies and eradication of moral decadence among students in Nasarawa State?
  2. Is there possible measures of curbing violence among students in Akwanga Local Government Area?
  3. Is there any significant impact of learning Christian religious studies on the social lives of students in Akwanga Local Government Area?
  4. What is the level of teaching of Christian religious studies in Akwanga Local Government Area?

1.6 Statement of Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses will be tested at 0.05level of significance.

H0: There is no significant relationship between Christian religious studies and eradication of moral decadence among students in Akwanga Local Government Area.

H1: There is a significant relationship between Christian religious studies and eradication of moral decadence among students in Akwanga Local Government Area.

H0: There is no significant impact of learning Christian religious studies on the social lives of students in Akwanga Local Government Area.

H2: There is a significant impact of learning Christian religious studies on the social lives of students in Akwanga Local Government Area.

1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study is restricted to the impact of Christian religious studies in secondary schools in Akwanga Local Government Area, Nasarawa State. There were some constraints that tends to hinder the study which are;

Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

Inadequate Materials: Scarcity of material is also a major hindrance. The researcher finds it difficult to lay hands on several required material which could contribute immensely to the success of this research work.

1.8. Definition of terms

Christian Religious Studies: Christian Religious education is the study of God’s revelation to human beings through scriptures, the person of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit (The study of the Trinity).

Religion: Religion is the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. Religion is a social-cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements.

Moral Decadence: moral decadence is the process of behaving in a way that shows low moral standards. It means gross reduction in the moral values in a particular society. Thus, moral decadence appears to be a fall’ in the moral standard of the society (Muraino and Ugwumba, 2014).

Corruption: dishonest or illegal behavior especially by powerful people (such as government officials or police officers)

Secondary schools: This is a school intermediate between elementary school and college and usually offering general, technical, vocational, or college-preparatory courses

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