Re -engaging Catholic education in a dominant Muslim society: A case study of the Diocese of Yola

Zacharia Nyantiso Samjumi, Fordham University


Distrust between Christians and Muslims has a long-standing history after centuries of conquest and massacres. Such distrust reveals itself wherever Christians and Muslims co-exist. Yola diocese is one such environment where Christians and Muslims live together. Incessant uprisings, protestations, and mutual suspicion between the followers of these two religions in the Yola (Adamawa) area reveal both a deep-seated distrust, and ignorance about the other's religion. When Catholic missionaries arrived in the Adamawa territory, they opened schools as part of their evangelization process. The schools were a tremendous success. However, as time passed, the government took over all the Christian schools in the early 1970s. The issue of religion was understood to have been the underlying motive for the take over. In recent years, however, the government began to encourage private organizations and individuals to be partners in progress with the government for the education of the republic. Building on structuration theory, the research investigated the interplay between the binary terms of structure and agency in leading Catholic education in the Muslim dominant society. This study sought to uncover how Catholic schools thrived amidst an opposing religious culture that fights even the raison d'etre of Christianity. How the schools shaped and were shaped by the structures of this society. It further sought to explore the educational paradigm the diocese of Yola wishes to operationalize in this re-engagement. Using semi-structured interview questions, the researcher, in a face-to-face meeting, interviewed 3 church leaders, 3 government officials, 2 Muslim clients, and 18 principals and teachers. The data generated were analyzed using the Constant Comparative Method of data analysis. The report of the findings was given in the order of oral account of missionary enterprise, current educational reforms, and summary, implication and recommendations for practice.* *This dissertation is a compound document (contains both a paper copy and a CD as part of the dissertation).

Subject Area

School administration

Recommended Citation

Samjumi, Zacharia Nyantiso, "Re -engaging Catholic education in a dominant Muslim society: A case study of the Diocese of Yola" (2006). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3210278.