An analytical study of the role of religion and education in social development: the Nigeria experience
Keywords:Religion, Education, Social Development, Nigeria, Critical, Inquiry
Religion is a global phenomenon and practice that plays a predominant role in the spiritual formation and traditional belief system of any nation. Education on the other hand is believed to be a primary driver of national development. The multidimensional impact of religion and education cannot be underemphasized. Their interplay has always resulted in positive development in almost all sectors and concerns of the country. It is truism that Nigeria is reckoned as one of the most religious countries of the world. History equally has it that religious movements and institutions have helped in the educational development of Nigeria. Undoubtedly, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country, with an estimated 200 million people, and with more than 250 distinctive ethnic and linguistic groups. There are three (3) major religious movements in Nigeria which include African Traditional Religion, Christianity and Islam. Religion is often misconstrued as source of political divides and ethnic disparities in most African countries, especially Nigeria. Religion is oftentimes employed in the political system of the country and has also influenced policy makers, and religious leaders in their decisions. Education has ever since given many Nigerians the knowledge and power to change their world for the good of all. Against these backdrops, this study evaluates the nature and impact of religion and education on the Nigerian society by exploring the manifestations of their existence in the country. Qualitative research method and the theory of crossing and dwelling will be employed in this work. The paper observes that religion and education are the driving force for national development. It concludes that religion as a unifying factor in the society should always work in synergy with education to achieve the expected result in the society and development of the nation. The paper therefore recommends that religion and education are indispensable factors for national development and should be employed for the betterment of the society.