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The issue of cultism in our higher institutions of learning is such that has reached an alarming rate inspite of the concerted effort being mobilized against it by the government, institutions authorities, parent and students themselves.
Therefore, this research work examine the perception of students, lecturers and the society towards this menace.
It goes a long way to assess how students view or consider the menace in a diversified and interogenious society like the institution of higher learning.
The research uses discussion format as the instrument of the fact finding. However the facts gathered reveals that our institutions authorities and the students themselves have a positive altitude towards National building, else the menace may remain a barrier to the attainment of same.
1.1 Background of the Study
Cult according to the longman dictionary of contemporary English is the group of people believing in a particular system of religious worship with its special customs and ceremonies.
Similarly the Oxford advanced learners dictionary of current learning defines same as a system of religious worship especially one that is expressed in ritual.
Generally cultism has been identified as an obvious and problematic issue that prevailed in most social and cultural set up in the world today. Because of its changed nature of operation, it is said to be a religious groups devoted to livings authority, a new teaching or in human practice, ranging in size from few fellowers living under the command of their higher authority to world wide organization directed by a complex chain of command. However, this work “cushioning the effects of cultism in Nigerian tertiary institutions” is concerned with the educational sector that is, how the scenario affects the lives and activities of higher institution of higher learning in Nigeria like the universities, polytechnics, and the college of educations.
Although, cultism in Nigeria tertiary institution started in the 1950`s specifically in the universities of Ibadan where it served as an organized resistance of tyranny and oppression, today it has turned to a deadly and blood thirsty group that has living leaders and promotes new occult or mysterious doctrines.
Apparently, one my be prompted to say that the root of violence in our institution of higher learning came as a result of the dangerous and inhuman dictrine which contributed in making our campuses unstable. Cultism has coursed a lot of unbearable damages on the psyche of innocent students just as the social life in some tertiary institutions has been earnestly marked by terror, crime of different kinds and uneasiness. Live of students, lecturers as well as the management have been stark by this act of anti-social activities all in the guise of cultism.
It is more sympathetic and unpleasant that cultism in our various campus today has taken a murderous stand and has become an epidemic to the education sector, which in recent time had led to the distortion of academic calendar and closure of many tertiary institution. A case in point can be traced to the cultism acts in the Olabisi Onobanjo University, Ile-Ife in Ogun State, Obafemi, Awolowo University (OOU) in Ogun state and that of university of Jos Respectively, whose presence has ruined the future of many potential students, lecturers and the management of some institutions. This is because those whom much is invested in are busy fighting and shading the blood of one another as if the campus is a competition floor in which everybody will claim his power.
Nevertheless, the situation has over the years thrown a saddened and piteous mood on the federal government of Nigeria ministry of education. The authorities of this institution themselves and has rendered their efforts useless reviving the sector. Infact, cultism is a bye product or an element of one fall to a lower level in moral and socio-economic order. Consequently, despite the open condemnation of cult activities in the institution of higher learning via the instrument of law and administrative sanctions, the battle appears to be lost to cults doctrines practice
Therefore, this term paper, a thirty (“30”) minutes radio discussion programme in “cushioning the Effect of cultism in Nigeria tertiary institution” will dig deeply into the nature, causes, effect and finally look into the ways out of the given scenario.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The idea of conducting this works dates to the confusions and restless pressure imposed on some of the Nigerians institutions by this anti-social act (cultism), which resulted to some extent where campuses were unstable and administrative efforts dangling to and fro.
A study of this nature is considered significant in at least three respects namely; personal, social and academic. The study will enable the researcher to sharpen his/her focus, and understanding of the basis of cultism, how it affects the education sector and its immediate and remote solution or recommendations. The study which has its primary aim of exposing the nature of cultism and help to nurture and sustain an atmosphere in which students will function and advance in their chosen pattern of any given social groups with a better understanding of the past. In the light of this, it will help the institutions management and other interest groups to add to their mapped strategies against cultism in order to eliminate it in their sphere of jurisdiction.
Furthermore, this study intended not only to add to the existing body of knowledge about cultism but to also stimulate future researchers in related areas and in brief serve as a reference material for the students, lecturers as well as the management of concerned institutions.
1.3 Objectives of Study
This study is aimed at investigating the impact of cultic activity on higher institutions of learning and how rehabilitation efforts have impacted on ex-cultists. However, these objectives are outlined below:
1. To explain the psychological and social dynamics common to cultic environment.
2. To help individuals who are ex-cultists to return to emotional and psychological stability.
3. To help the student or ex-cultist to return to social stability through a reintegration programme.
4. To examine the causes of cultism in tertiary institutions.
5. To examine the effect of cultism on tertiary institutions.
6. To recommend measures to curb the menace of cultism in tertiary institutions.
1.4 Research Questions
In order to have a proper grasp of the study, the following questions need to be asked:
1. Does ex-cultists reason or think logically?
2. Are ex-cultists victims of violence from former cult members and opposition cults?
3. Are ex-cultists predisposed to fear of the unknown?
4. Is the poor academic performance of ex-cultists due to fear from former cult members?
5. Do ex-cultists loose respect from their school mates?
6. Does school management cater adequately for the traumatic and psychological needs of ex-cultists?
7. Do ex-cultists suffer from emotional stress?
8. Does the rehabilitation efforts of management yields proper integration into the academic community.
The following assumptions are developed to enable the researcher to critically examine the subject matter:
1. Low academic performance is directly related to ex-cultist membership of secret cult.
2. Aggressive behaviour is directly related to membership of secret cults.
3. Individuals from defective family background are more prone to membership of secret cult.
4. There is relationship between the rehabilitation efforts of school management and ex-cultists in tertiary institutions.
1.6 Scope and Limitation of Study
This study is carried out within the confines of tertiary institutions in Delta State. The choice for this boundary is due to the fact that the situations in Delta State University Campuses located at Abraka and Oleh, Delta State Polytechnic at Ozoro, Oghara and Ogwachuku , Delta State College of Education at Agbor, and Warri and other citadel of higher learning. However, the situation is not different from other universities or colleges nationwide but due to time and financial constraints, the focus shall be at the three campuses of Delta state University situated at Abraka.
1.7 Significance of the Study
The research work is directed at contributing to knowledge in all citadel of learning. The following are the relevance:
1. The study will show the relationship that exist between cults activities and Nigerian students.
2. It will also indicate whether the activities of cultists on the students have been more relevant or otherwise.
3. It shall also make recommendations on areas where necessary to improve the lots of the Nigerian students.
4. The recommendations of this study shall be useful to counselors in all respect to students’ life.
5. It shall be of immense benefit to government ministries, agencies and other non-governmental organizations involved on the intervention and prevention of cultism in Nigerian universities and other colleges of learning.
6. It shall also be used for the rehabilitation of ex-cultists who have renounced their membership of secret cults.
7. This study shall also be an eye-opener to fresh undergraduates in higher institutions.
8. The study shall also serve as a guide to psychologists who are involved in the rehabilitation of ex-cultists.
1.8 Research Methodology
This encompasses the sources of data and data analysis.
1.9 Sources of Data
The data for this study shall be collected from primary and secondary sources. In the case of the former, the researcher shall randomly distribute 200 Questionnaire to the three campuses of Delta State University, Abraka.
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