PRAYER IN SCHOOLS " LEGAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PERSPECTIVES IN NIGERIA

By

Oladunjoye Patrick (PhD) and Nanighe B. Major (PhD)

Presented To

Department of Educational Foundations

ABSTRACT
 The study is concerned with the administrative and legal perceptive of prayer in Nigeria public schools. 780 school administrators were randomly selected from the public schools in the 3 geo-political regions in the Southern Nigeria. A 20 item questionnaire was designed by the researcher. This was validated by experts in test and evaluation as well as seasoned school administrators in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. The instrument was further tested for reliability using the test-re-test method. The data collected was analysed using the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient statistics and it was established as 0.82 which shows that the instrument is reliable. The researcher and other research assistants personally administered the questionnaire and the data analysed using the mean and the ttest analysis. From the result and findings, it was observed that most school administrators do not see prayer as a normal school routine but do not have proper knowledge on the legality of enforcing prayer in schools. To the administrators, prayers is for character molding, entertainment and an instrument to instill discipline but the legal perspective is that it must not be forced on the child and must be conducted in line with the fundamental human rights of the child as enshrined in Section 33 â“ 44 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.  
KEYWORDS: Prayer, School, Administration, Nigeria 
INTRODUCTION
Nigeria is culturally pluralistic. There are three forms of religions which has remained very dominant in the lives of the people â“ Christianity, Islam and the African traditional religion. The Christian religion is predominant in the Southern Nigeria as a result of the spread by the missionaries who came into the country through the coastal regions and the Islamic religion is predominant in the north with its spread from the Arab nations. The traditional African religion is the indigenous religion of the people before the coming of both the Christian and Muslim religions.  
Consequently, religion plays a vital roe in the lives of the average Nigerian child. Adebisi (2011) noted that it is the instrument for moral up-bringing in schools. Although, in Nigeria, many schools were initially owned by the missionaries before the take-over of schools by the colonial government in 1882 (Adebisi, 2011). During this period, the church cannot be divorced from the school. In fact, most schools were headed by religious leaders. Rev. Ranome Kuti was the first president of the Nigerianâ¦â¦â¦of Teachers supported by other notable clergies like Bishop A Kale, Rev. J.O. Lucas, etc who were all teachers. Schools during the missionary period were controlled by the church. So, the tradition of the church was to a reasonable extent extended to the schools. The teachers were made to be very active in church activities and they were disciplined in line with the religious precepts. The pupils -

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