‘Teach All Religions In Schools’ – David Ogburn


The principal, Avi-Cenna International School, Ikeja, Lagos, Mr David Ogburn, has advised the government to tread softly on the issue of including a religion in the curriculum to ensure that all religions are taught together in schools.

Speaking against the background of the outcry over the subsuming merger of Christian and Islamic religions in the school’s curriculum and he said worldwide, the practice is that no religion should stand alone in order not to give the impression that one is given preference over the other.

Ogburn, who has spent nine years as the school’s administrator, said though the government had retraced its steps by reverting to the old practice of making each religion to stand alone, it would have been better if the government involved educationists in resolving the matter rather than treating it as a political issue. He warned: ”Religion is quite emotive. It should be at harmonious force in the society.”

On early education, he said the best way to teach it is through plays, adding that children learn through various ways, rather than sit in one place.

‘”What we develop in children have emotions and they learn through them, but all these they do through plays,” he said.

Ogburn also said there was the need to teach indigenous cultures, adding that though the school operates the British curriculum and it emphasises Nigerian cultures.

“We inculcate values in our children, not necessarily the Nigerian or the Asian. However, we celebrate everything Nigerian, for example, the Independence anniversary on October 1. We do traditional dances and singing” he said.

Besides, he said schools should go outside the box to teach their pupils. He said a topic subject like entrepreneurship should be of interest to educators.

”Education is much more than what happens in the classrooms.  We do a lot of home economics. We have banks that come here to teach our children basic financial practices. We hold a Marketing Day once a year. Pupils set up and run a business, make plastic cups and go through a process of business,” Ogburn said, adding that all these help to make the child a total pupil on graduation.

Ogburn advised parents to look out for schools that can deliver quality education and treat their wards uniquely when choosing schools. He warned them against taking their children to quack schools where they will not be benefit at the end of the day.

He urged schools to give back to society as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). He noted that Avi-Cenna gives out 15 scholarship yearly,  has installed an oxygen machine at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), built a domestic science laboratory at the Ikeja High School among others.

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