Don of UNILAG is a proponent of moral character education in pre-tertiary institutions.

Jim Unah, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Lagos, has urged for the persistent and systematic teaching and inculcation of virtue ethics, creative, critical logical thinking, and African moral values to children from infancy through adulthood.

He urged African scholars and researchers on African soil to form the matter of our leaders and peoples, By taking ownership of the teaching of positive moral character and artistic thinking to Africans in a sustained and systematic manner within the establishment, just as we’ve acquired our training in our respective disciplines from infancy to adulthood, we can address the issue of leadership elite corruption and immorality.

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Unah remarked this recently when delivering the Distinguished Professor Lecture Series at the School of Arts, titled “Is It Leadership or Character?” According to the statement, the movie has the ability to provide and galvanize youth of character and clear vision, and even imbue them with the consciousness to market and promulgate well-ingrained African ideals that would disturb and destabilize African governments of profligacy, corruption, and mediocrity.

Poor leadership culture, consistent with him, is responsible for several of the problems confronting Nigeria and other African countries, like corporate failures, economic recessions, social woes, political upheaval, and security challenges, among others. However, given how coaching, education, and leadership concepts are applied and utilized in contemporary literature, a crucial part of leadership development and education had been overlooked right along.

Unah said: 

The training and learning of character is the all-important core of leadership that deviates from the standard of classical leadership attributes. As a result, the failure and poverty of leadership necessitate the teaching and learning of character from elementary through higher education.

The challenge is enormous, and it should not be viewed solely through the lens of philosophy; rather, it should be viewed through the lens of all stakeholders in education who wish for a solid moral character in Nigerian children and a peaceful society for all.

On the recent causes of ethical decay, he said notwithstanding the colonial and neo-colonial disruptions and devious distortions of identities, the reality of modern urban living, within the stress of which folks and relatives become too preoccupied with the arduous task of creating a living, that the responsibility of teaching and mentioning the kid was transferred from the community to specialized institutions (kindergartens, nurseries).

This responsibility has also been unintentionally handed to the media in recent years. The former, that is, attention was given to the intellectual aspect of a child’s development in the reconstructed, semi-conscious process of transference, to the utter neglect and detriment of the moral aspect, which received (and still receives) little or no mention in the curriculum of modern African schools.

He regretted that the country now features a generation of largely intelligent children who are obviously morally hollow. As a result, when these children mature and aspire to positions of power in politics and industry as a result of their brilliance, they’re ethically unable to resist the enticing lures of nepotism, corruption, and official graft. The recent reports of cyber and drug-related crimes committed by Nigerian youngsters in other areas of the planet speak to the present situation.

The Distinguished Professor observed that once the deplorable characters have become fossilized, no amount of corporate governance theories, professional ethics orientation, or even international pressure will be able to put out the immoral fire in their hearts or persuade them to reconsider their hedonistic lifestyles.

According to him, a number of the challenges militating the mixing of ethical character training at the pre-tertiary levels of education include economic circumstances of and demands on parents; infusion and inculcation processes in schools, religion. indoctrination and fundamentalism, enduring imperial culture and dominating attitudes, political will, and socio-cultural relativism, to name a few.

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