Catholic communities, parents, and schools in service of educational development in Southwestern Nigeria: A theoretical model

Jude Ayodeji Arogundade, Fordham University


The worsening educational standard of Nigeria schools can be traced to the general social, political, and economic depression of the last 3 decades. The series of reforms that have been adopted by the government have yielded far fewer results than expected and the way forward seems to have defied all solutions. This study seeks to understand the structural underpinnings of the social changes that precipitated the educational crisis, evaluate the strength which the local communities employed in support of their institutions in the past, and adapt them in the light of the present crisis. This rationale rests on the assumption that, at a time of crisis, communities know how to put their social resources together to salvage the institutions in which they all have a stake. Educational institutions are top in the list of such institutions. The high social capital that exists in Catholic communities has been identified as key to the high achievement of Catholic schools despite their poor economic capital. This research adopts the premise of much of the social capital literature that a strong community organizations are key to social development. By “working together in Churches or other community-based organizations, people who live in poor communities can begin to change their circumstance” (Duncan, 2001, p. 76) and adopt values that will develop their institutions. Embracing this option as a remedy for the falling standards of high school in Nigeria is a viable option because a poor country that lacks the financial resources to uplift their educational institutions must rely on their communities' strength to achieve their educational goal. This research articulates the importance of Coleman's theory of “social capital” and Epstein's theory of “overlapping spheres of influence” for high school systems. It also attempts to understand the organizational web that unites stakeholders in their quest to achieve the goals of their school. Senge's theory of “a learning organization” established five disciplines which school administrators, teachers, and students can adopt to achieve effective school system, improved learning activities, and attain higher achievement. These theories are particularly beneficial to high schools because they lay a foundation for the lifelong learning process that is the hallmark for personal and national development. The theories also help students to develop a creative learner's ability and discipline that lead to the formation of character. This study formulates a high school model that is founded on the theories that may help to nurture students in the social, political, and economic lives of their communities and lays a foundation for democracy and egalitarian society that are central to educational goals of Nigeria. The model also adopts the essential characteristics of Catholic schools and adapts them to the values and cultures of the people of the Southwestern Nigeria so that Catholic schools might provide an education that is meaningful to the people's context.

Subject Area

School administration

Recommended Citation

Arogundade, Jude Ayodeji, "Catholic communities, parents, and schools in service of educational development in Southwestern Nigeria: A theoretical model" (2005). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3166558.