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NICHOLAS A. NWAGWU (Associate Professor and Acting Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Benin, Nigeria. He holds the degrees of B.A. (Nsukka), M.Ed. (Leicester), M.A. and Ed.D. (Columbia). Dr Nwagwu has published extensively in the field of educational administration and has travelled widely.)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Article publication date: 1 January 1979



Until the middle of the 20th Century, all the governments of the various regions in Nigeria did was to give grants‐in‐aid to the voluntary agencies that operated approved schools while a few “government schools” were established in a few strategic towns. After the Nigeria‐Biafra civil war in 1970, some State governments took over the complete ownership and control of all educational institutions in their areas of jurisdiction. The educational policies and practices of the voluntary agencies were condemned as being foreign‐oriented, irrelevant to Nigeria's needs, and divisive in the sense that denominational schools encouraged religious and tribal bigotry and unhealthy rivalry among the citizens. It was also argued that state take‐over of all schools would enable the government to plan the education system as part of the national integrated plan for social and economic development. The author supports greater control of the education system by the government and indeed a state take‐over of voluntary schools based on mutual agreement. However, voluntary agencies and private individuals should be allowed to own and run their own schools completely at their own expense within the broad framework of government regulations. However, many Nigerians objected to the unilateral seizure and control of church and private schools by the government. People argued that it was illegal to dispossess the voluntary agencies of schools they built mostly with their own resources without first of all working out an agreement with them which should include adequate compensation.


NWAGWU, N.A. (1979), "THE STATE TAKE‐OVER OF SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA: A CONTROVERSY", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 75-86.




Copyright © 1979, MCB UP Limited

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