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On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.85 n.1 Pretoria  2020 



Christian Religious Education and Integrity: a Case Study of Babock University, Nigeria



Isaiah AbolarinI; Jame 'Toyin' BabalolaII

IBabock University, Nigeria
IIBabock University, Nigeria





The goal of education, especially Christian religious education, is to restore human beings to the image of God in which they were created. This is achieved by inculcating moral values into students and using education to build their character that it might reflect the character of God. One of the major moral values that is highly needed in Nigeria society is integrity. Babcock University as a Christian institution practices religious education in which the Christian faith is integrated into every fabric of her educational practices. Since inception, Babcock has had integrity as part of her core values. This has been promoted, encouraged practised and coached by the university personnel. This study investigated the level of integrity and the process of its attainment. Since religious universities constituted about two-thirds of private universities (about 45% of the total private institutions in Nigeria), there is a high need of building integrity in these universities in order to promote integrity in the nation. The study adopted qualitative research method using interview as means of data collection. The study found that leadership and freedom are essential factors in ensuring integrity.

Keywords: Christian religious education, integrity, faith, image of God, moral values, educational practices



1. Introduction

Nigeria as a nation is struggling to restore her past glory and virtues of which integrity is prominent (Adelakun, 2018). In order to achieve this, different efforts have been made such as establishing regulatory bodies and government agents. Different organizations-religious and non-government-have been used to educate people's understanding and imbibing integrity. Despite all the efforts integrity is still a mirage in the country (Jeremiah, 2020). This is more pertinent when institutions of higher learning are devoid of integrity because they are the ones supposed to build young people who ought to uphold and live integrity. Education generally is the means through which character is built, beliefs are woven with behaviour and virtues inculcated into young people who will eventually take over from the current leaders in every sphere of the nation (2017).

There have not been encouraging reports regarding integrity in higher institutions involving many students, lecturers and other stakeholders. Okebukola (2015), an ex-secretary of the NUC, the regulatory body for higher institutions of learning in Nigeria, revealed the level of dishonesty in term of plagiarism among undergraduate students in Nigeria to be 70%. He added that even at the doctoral level, the extent of dishonesty is intolerably high, and many students no longer engage in original thinking. Another symptom of lack of integrity in the Nigeria tertiary institutions is examination malpractice which has become a norm in many institutions of higher learning. The situation is worse as a growing number of lecturers get involved in dishonest practices such as plagiarism, cooking data for research without conducting the studies, lateness to class, absenteeism, and alteration of examination results (Okebukola, 2015). The situation in the academic environment has reached a level when different dons fraudulently received academic awards (Kperogi, 2019).

Lack of integrity in institutions of higher learning in Nigeria is also revealed in dishonest professorial candidates' assessments, inaccurate reports of financial and academic data, admitting numbers of students more than the carrying capacity of an institution, non-adherence to the regulations guiding admission, political interference in admission processes, sales of examination questions, gratification and inducement to manipulate award of marks/grades, writing examination by proxy, direct cheating in exams and many more acts of dishonesty (Agbaje, 2019; Dada, 2017; Francis, 2015; Okebukola, 2015; Omojuwa, 2019). This has led to uncultured, unskilled, and uneducated graduates - and this is a serious paradoxical reality in the Nigeria higher education (Lawal, 2013; Olatunji, 2018; Olukoju, 2014; Omojuwa, 2019; Uriah & Wosu, 2012).

Fortunately, all hope is not lost regarding integrity in the higher institutions in Nigeria. There is a ray of hope shining through from private institutions of higher learning, especially the faith-based ones, specifically Christian institutions which are demonstrating a high level of upholding moral standards. Christian religious institutions are concerned with building students who are disciplined and understand their heritage plus creativity, logical rigour and self-critical honesty (Holmes, 1975). Christian religious education grounds its educational worldview, philosophy and practice on the tenet which is directly linked to a Supreme being who is just and faithful and desires the same attributes from all who serve Him everywhere including educational institutions (Knight, 2016; Ward, 1995).

Mentorship in character and lifestyle, including integrity, is an important factor in Christian religious education institutions. The objectives of such institutions are to prepare people who would have the characteristics of the Supreme being, able to weave beliefs into character, who would experience holistic education (intellectual, social, and spiritual), and be able to face the challenges of life (Garber, 1996; Knight, 2016). Being a Christian religious institution and having integrity as one of her core values has existed for 60 years and has gone through different developmental stages with effort to uphold moral standard and to project the same among many other institutions of higher learning in Nigeria. Therefore, this study examined the level and process of ensuring integrity in Babcock University.

1.1 Integrity

Integrity is the act of being consistently honest and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values even when no one else does. It is a state of steadfastly adhering to high moral principles or professional standards. These moral principles involve human ways of life, which may include finance, justice, relationship, and academic. Integrity generally can also be seen as a personal trait of being fair in every situation that someone finds him/herself. It is a trait every human being should admire. Integrity comes from personal moral conviction of doing the right thing in all circumstances. The Merriam-Webster dictionary (2019) presents integrity as firm adherence to a code of moral or values. It is a condition of being incorruptible, unimpaired, and undivided. In other words, a person who lacks integrity is corruptible, ethically impaired, and divided. According to Tracy (2019), integrity is doing the right thing only because it is the right thing to do. It is living by one's word without compromise. Integrity involves not being afraid to tell the truth. It requires putting personal agendas aside to focus on the common good of others (Bauer College of Business, 2019; Tracy, 2019).

The traits found in people with integrity, according to Brown (2018), include humility, goodness, authenticity, honesty, trustworthy, giving credit, value people's time, not arguing rudely, giving second chances, emotionally intuitive, apologetic, accountability, genuinely apologize when one has gone too far, ensure the team gets the credit, do not name call, and have patience. Amster (2017), stated that to build integrity is easy but to maintain it is a difficult experience. Therefore, he suggested some ways by which people can strengthen their integrity. The ways include: fulfil promises, keep appointments, soberly reflect before making commitments, be comfortable with saying no, examine how you react to fearful situations, polish your communication skills, identify the skills to be developed and develop them, avoid people with no integrity as much as possible.

1.2 Integrity and academia

Academic integrity is loyalty to a state of high moral principles and values in scholarship and this entails teaching, learning and research (Okebukola, 2015). It is an important factor to a functional education and specifically in academic life. Academic misconduct is the violation of academic policy and integrity in a given institution. The violation includes cheating, which is generally known as plagiarism, misrepresentation, lying, stealing in exams, copying other people's projects, untruthfulness in data collection and analysis of the data (University of Ontario, 2016). Therefore, integrity in academic life is considered to be a commitment to honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage even in the face of adversity (Valdosta State University, 2018). These six factors are referred to as fundamental values of integrity. They are explained as follow:

1. Honesty - this is expected to occur within individuals in an academic environment. When it happens, it is easier to maintain learning and teaching, between teachers and students. Irrespective of institutional policy, if individuals do not possess personal integrity it is difficult to entrench integrity in the system especially between teachers and students. In an institution where there is dishonesty, the welfare of the institution is at risk and the value of the academic degree is reduced.

2. Trust - this is primarily a value that is promoted by the faculty of an institution of higher learning. The faculty is to set clear guidelines for every expectation from students and the modality for assessment. There should be consistency and fair treatment.

3. Fairness - this another important value within integrity. Impartial and accurate evaluation is essential in the educational process. Students desire predictability, clear expectations, and a consistent and just response from teachers and everyone who deals with them. Every department and person in an institution of higher learning has a role in ensuring fairness, and a lapse by any member of the institution cannot justify misconduct by another.

4. Respect - respecting other people's intellectual property and ability is an essential value of integrity. Proper citation of any information taken from another person's intellectual product is necessary. This also calls for respect of the view of others even in the class. No looking down on anyone, rather everyone is treated as a person.

5. Responsibility - each person in the academic community is responsible for upholding the integrity of scholarship and research. Dishonesty is to be abhorred by all the members of an academic community. Honesty among all members of an institution of higher learning results in building trust over time.

6. Courage - it takes courage to stand alone where others have fallen. Integrity requires courage especially in the current existing academic system where value has been excluded from academic (University of Ontario, 2016; Valdo-sta State University, 2018).

Every institution of higher learning builds its reputation not only on teaching, but also on research and in other areas of the institution's system. The credibility may be reflected in both the students who graduate with degrees and the researchers at the institution, but every member of the community is a reflector of the credulity and integrity that exist in the institution. The level of credibility of an institution can influence many things concerning the institution such as accreditation, ranking, type of employees (staff and faculty), research grants and publication by faculty members, external support, admission, and advancement and employability of the graduates (Bauer College of Business, 2019). In essence, integrity in an institution of higher learning is important to individuals, to enhance the success of each person especially the faculty and students. It saves students from being expelled and faculty from sanction. It is important to the university to build and maintain its reputation (Western Sydney University, 2019).

1.3 Christian Religious Education

Christian religion education is the type of education in which the curriculum, teaching and other educational practices are determined by a Christian religious worldview (Miracle, 2015), which holds that there is a supreme being who is responsible for the existence of everything, seen and unseen (Coe, 1978). Christian religious education, according to Tracy (1978), is the culture and training of the intellect, the emotion, and the will, so as to make the three function in a highest possible way in every situation in a holistic harmony. This is to result in students knowing the truth, appreciate the beautiful, and will the good. In essence, Christian religious education is to help students develop in all the three domains of learning which are cognitive, behavioural, and affective. It directs students along the path of harmonious development.

Christianity agrees that religious education is to develop personality after its Teacher, that God may be glorified in the expansion of his spiritual kingdom (Tracy, 1978). If Christian religion believes that humans were created perfect and that sin came and marred the perfection in which they were created, and that religion is to connect people back to God (Adetunji, 2012), then the ultimate goal of its education could be to bring students back to the image of God in which they were created (White, 1903) and this takes a process that cannot but go through its leader (Jesus Christ). Since the connection to the Creator cannot be an abstract, Christian religious education prepares students to have positive impact on communities, societies and cultures (Itulua-Abumere, 2013). This kind of education has important roles to play in building a nation for moral development and creating law and order (Miracle, 2015).

Christian religious education is an interactive engagement that intentionally attends to the interests of students' growth in a Christian environment as revealed by God (2015). Christian religious education aims at bringing students into a right relationship with God as they discover and appreciate the Christian truth through the process of education. Its concepts and practices are motivated by the Christian worldview that is theocentric and brings individuals into the right relationship with God and one's fellows in the context of Christian truths about life (Miller, 1995). Christian religious education, according to White (903), is more than the acquiring of a degree; but is the holistic development of students that fits them for service to humanity and to God. It is equipping students to weave together what they believe with how they behave that there will be no dichotomy between believe and behaviour (Garber, 2007, White, 1903). This type of education is more than training students for careers, but also for character and moral development.

Some of the character and moral development expected of students in Christian religious education include integrity, justice, and values; it is being true to the word of God and relevant to the needs of people and the society (Estep Jr., Anthony & Allison, 2008; Itulua-Abumere, 2013; Plueddemann, 1995).

A Christian worldview answers philosophical questions of what is real, what is true and what is good; it proceeds to also answer the question of what to do from theocentric point of view. It is the worldview that determines the beliefs, values, and behaviour (Figure 1). Christian education is particular about behaviour which is the product of the education.

The Christian worldview is informed by a Biblical worldview that is concerned with choices people make and the impact of such choices on society. The biblical worldview helps an individual's values system and the priorities each one sets for him/herself (Figure 2). The result of all these is character and value building for the purpose of impacting society positively. Such education cannot exist without integrity. The need for this kind of education is expressed by Okunoye (2019), in his lament on the moral and spiritual decadence in Nigeria and the role Christian religious education could play. He claimed that there is a need to emphasize Christian religious education that upholds the principles of integrity.

1.4 Christian Religious Education and Integrity

Since religion, according to Adetunji (2012), affects every aspect of a nation-politics, education, economy, morality, and relationship-and religious education is a system of education in which religious tenets are incorporated into curriculum and ethos of an educational institution, the issue of integrity in such system should be a thing of concern. And according to Upton (2006), Christian religious education cannot stand without integrity, because it is the foundational pillars on which the educational system stands. Integrity does not stand on its own, it is nurtured and demonstrated in harmonization with other virtues. In Christian religious education, integrity signifies purity of heart and obedience to moral principles in thought and action by the persons involved in the educational practices. It holds integrity in high esteem in its philosophy.

In Christian religious institutions, it is imperative for personnel to model integrity in every aspect-moral, finance, and academic (Abolarin, 2015). The contribution, especially in moral and integrity, made by Christian religious education in the past history of Nigeria calls for a need to encourage Christian religious institutions to build a true Christian religious educational system. Some of the past contribution of Christian religious education include strong and modern society that was capable of transforming the lives of Nigerians in the aspect of economy, education, and social. The people of Nigeria were able to take their place as equals in the world community. The educational system brought people of different ethnic backgrounds together in unity for common purpose (Okpalike & Nwadialor, n.d.).


2. Babcock University

Christian religious education was introduced into Nigeria in the 1800s by the missionaries and mission agencies to end the slave trade and convert indigenes to Christianity. This was done by establishing schools and hiring instructors to educate and to spread Christianity through missionary enterprises (Paracka, 2002). In the early 1800s, Seventh-day Adventist missionaries arrived in Nigeria. Following the general approach by other missionaries, the Seventh-day Adventist missionaries also started primary and later secondary schools as a means of propagating their message and converting people to their faith. When the Adventist mission became larger, there was a need for more teachers and Bible workers to handle to expanding mission work.

In October 1959, the Adventist College of West Africa (ACWA) was established for the purpose of meeting the need for a ministry with training beyond the secondary school level (Agboola, 2001). In 1975, the name of the institution was changed to the Adventist Seminary of West Africa (ASWA) in response to the dynamics of the socio-political terrain of the nation. And when the Federal Government of Nigeria gave accreditation to the institution in 1999, the name then became Babcock University (BU) (Abolarin, 2015, Babcock University, 2019), in memory of the first Seventh-day Adventist missionary to Nigeria whose name was David C. Babcock. It became a pioneer private university in Nigeria (Babcock University, 2019). The institution has always practised Christian religious education in keeping with the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Being a Christian institution, moral and character building of the students is paramount along with intellectual development. One of the core values of Babcock University is integrity. Other ones include excellence, accountability, team spirit, servant leadership, autonomy responsibility, and the Adventist heritage. The core values are recited not only by the students but also by the faculty and staff of the institution in every major gathering (Babcock University, 2019).


3. Methodology

This study adopted a qualitative research method. The objective of the study was to investigate the phenomenon of integrity in Babcock University. The study enquired on the understanding of integrity and the process of ensuring continuous integrity in the institution. An interview guide was the instrument used for data collection; it allowed for an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon being studied. Some administrators and key individuals from different units of the university (bursary, procurement, human resources, academic, institutional effectiveness, and students' development) whose duties call for interactions with other personnel and students, were interviewed. In all, 14 people were interviewed when the procedure ended due to saturation of information.

The interview was on a one-on-one basis. Each interviewee was met in his/her office and the interview protocol was followed. The interview was conducted after permission was secured from the Babcock University Human Research Ethics Committee (BUHREC), the body that sees to the ethical issues on every research project in the institution. The responses from the interviewees were recorded using pen and paper. The data were examined and thematically analysed. Categories and themes from each of categories of the responses were identified. Five categories with different numbers of themes emerged from the responses.

The research questions for this study included:

How can you rate the level of integrity in this university?

How is integrity ensured in the university? What is the relationship between integrity and quality of education in Christian religious educational system, especially Babcock University?

How diligent is the university to the threshold and standard given by the NUC in term of admission?

The study focused on establishing the importance of integrity in Christian religious education especially in the 21st century Nigeria when corruption is the common theme in the educational system (Agbaje, 2019; Francis, 2015). The names used in this study are pseudonyms so as to ensure anonymity of the interviewees.


4. Findings

The responses from the participants of this study were analysed and grouped according to the emerged categories and themes. This section contains mostly the paraphrase of the responses from the interviewees. Five categories emerged with each one having a cluster of themes.

4.1 Type of Educational Practice

The idea of the type of education being practised may look superfluous as the university is owned by a Christian organization. The reality is that there are those who do not consider the type of education being practised there as Christian. Some people stated that it is difficult to call the university a Christian one because it has become more secular than Christian (Alex, Olumide & Bolu, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). According to Olumide (personal conversation, August 21, 2019), there are departments and sections of the university where the practices there do not reflect Christian organization. The religiousness of the educational system of the university according to four of the interviewees, has been compromised. There are taints of secularism in the system due to financial needs to maintain the university and the type of employees who are being recruited (Akin, David, Solo, & Tait, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). At the same time some respondents especially among the administrators, indicated that the type of education practised at Babcock University is Christian religious education (Chuks, Moni, Alos, Okafor, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). According to some of the administrators, since the inception of the institution, the focus has always been the practice of an educational system that corresponds with the philosophy of the Seventh-day Adventist Church which is the organization that owns the university. The aim of the education, according to one of the administrators, is to restore in students the image of God in which they were created (Okafor, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

Still under the type of education, the educational system is not only focussed on the intellectual development of the students. The education is a holistic one, a tripartite education which is concerned with the mental, physical and spiritual aspects of the students. The focus is not only the intellectual, but also on the physical and spiritual well-being of students which makes the educational system different from secular system of education. The educational practices in Babcock University are guided by biblical principles (Okafor & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

The Christian nature of the educational system in Babcock University is further demonstrated by the general courses on Christian religion that every student offers at every level of study before graduation (Head, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Students are also exposed to both hall and church worship programmes. The university, according to one of the administrators, is "deliberate" about inculcating the word of God into students and staff. This is also done by conducting annual weeks of spiritual emphasis and by having morning devotional programmes for all staff every morning, and prayer meetings for faculty members (White, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Other measures for ensuring spiritual development include annual orientation and colloquia for personnel. In essence, Babcock University is a Christian institution of higher learning in both precepts and practices (Okafor, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

4.2Understanding of Integrity

Understanding of integrity is the second category of response. Integrity is viewed differently by the respondents. It is perceived as "sticking to rules without compromise" or "maintaining standards" (Okafor, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). It is also understood to be "uprightness" which is "doing right because it is right"; being faithful, trustworthy (White, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Integrity is being "the same everywhere every time irrespective of the situation" (Tait, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). It is the ability to "show and prove beyond reasonable doubt that what you say is what you do." It is being predictable and honest. Integrity is also "what you are when nobody is watching". It is not paying lip service (David & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

Many of the interviewees said that Babcock University has policies and principles that promote and encourage integrity. Those who are the leaders, "especially the Vice-Chancellor and the Bursar are the epitome of integrity". They talk and promote the same in every given opportunity (Yinka, Solo & Okafor, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). While these people represent integrity in the university, regrettably, there are individuals who do not uphold the high standards of integrity as promoted by the institution. These individuals include some staff and lecturers who engage in anti-integrity behaviour. Though, on the general level, the university has high level integrity compared to a good number of higher institutions in the country; but the situation can be better (Akin, Alex, Head, Tait & Solo, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

4.3Integrity and Education

The relationship between integrity and education is the third category of response. In Babcock University, there is no dichotomy between education and integrity; although some "bad eggs" collude to cheat the university, even some lecturers extort students, and this is a national problem (Okafor, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Ideally, integrity should not be isolated from education. A true education is to build integrity because every aspect of education carries integrity with it (David, Okafor & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). "There cannot be Christian education without Christian principles. Christian principles include integrity. Since Christian values cannot be the same as worldly values, Christian education values cannot be like any other education" (Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Christian education based its values and principles of God's word. A true education should be that which promotes and practices integrity in all it does. "The bedrock of education should be integrity" But the sad thing is that not everyone in the university is a "Christian", this shows in their lack of integrity (Akin, David, Solo & White, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

4.4 The System for Ensuring Integrity

The fourth category of response is the system put in place to ensure integrity. The respondents were in agreement with the fact that Babcock University has strong systems put in place to ensure integrity. The system has different components that form the themes for this category.

There is freedom of expression in Babcock University which allows everyone, including students to voice out any concern or frustration being faced. If anyone feels cheated or oppressed, the individual has the opportunity to speak and whatever is said will reach the appropriate body that will deal with the issue. There are good communication channels for every aggrieved person to air his/her concern. This makes people courteous of every decision and act. Babcock University promotes simplicity of life so that no one does more than his/her ability; but there is still a competitive spirit in some people who love to oppress others. There are some people too who still find it difficult to speak out because of the fear of being dismissed (Alex, Alos, Akin, Chuks, David, Head, Okafor, Solo & White, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

Babcock University is a Seventh-day Adventist Church institution. This indicates that there is no single individual who has the final say when it comes to decision-making. There is the hierarchy of power from the institution to the world headquarters of the church. This also promotes integrity in the university (David, Okafor, Solo & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Babcock University works hard to maintain integrity because the Seventh-day Adventist Church is a church that promotes and upholds integrity in all precepts and practices. But the workers are not all members of the church, so there is no perfect level of integrity in the practices. This is not to say that only the non-members violate the rules of integrity. Many who are members also do that (Okafor & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

The university operates committees and bodies systems that allow for many people to be part of decision-making in the university. Each committee handles different matters that have to do with the running of the university. The committees include a disciplinary committee, procurement committee, and welfare committee. The different committees promote inclusive administrative systems that permit objective involvement thereby ensuring integrity (David, Okafor, Solo & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). "There is no unilateral decision-making in Babcock University but the truth is that some, though not often, still find ways of bringing personal bias into committee decisions" (Okafor, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

Another system that helps Babcock University to ensure integrity is the sanction system. When anyone is found guilty of any act of indiscipline or misconduct, the person is sanctioned. The sanction serves as a deterrent to others from falling into similar error. And every individual is accountable for his/her action without compromise (David & Okafor, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

In addition, there are departments that work to ensure quality, fairness, and integrity. Some of the departments include Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Academic Planning, and BUHREC. They work to ensure quality and integrity in some areas like research, teaching, attendance in class, teachers' attitude and behaviour, and examinations (Okafor & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

There are programmes through which the consciousness of the people-students and staff-is opened to the need to maintain integrity in Babcock University. Some of the programmes include annual weeks of spiritual emphasis where both students and workers gather for a week-morning and evening-for spiritual messages (Okafor & Solo, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). There is a students' week of prayer in which students gather in different groups for a week for spiritual messages. There are also weekly faculty prayer meetings, and daily morning devotion for staff (Okafor & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Annual colloquia and orientation are another avenue by which personnel are motivated to develop and impact values on campus (David, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). "Everyone who works in Babcock is encouraged to see him/herself as working for God. Babcock University has zero tolerance to vices. Integrity has given Babcock University an edge over some other universities in the nation" (David & Okafor, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

Although the university has the system put in place to ensure integrity, "there are some human factors that may make the execution difficult, because some individuals may not live up to the principles of the institution" (Solo & Tait, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). This does not mean that Babcock tolerates lack of integrity in her system. "In all, there is the fear of God in Babcock University" this is a major factor for ensuring integrity in the university (David & Solo, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Because of financial challenges of the university, sometimes there are violations of NUC standards in the area of not admitting students more than the capacity of the facilities. There are some semesters when students would be more than the available spaces; which is a dent in the integrity, though the university quickly handles this when it happens (Solo & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

4.5 Improving on the Level of Integrity

Despite the level of integrity in Babcock University, there are still some things that could be done to improve on what is being done (David, Alos, Chuks, Moni & Bolu, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Some of the things that could be done to improve the level of integrity in Babcock University include praying. As a Christian education institution, Babcock University neds to pray more and allow the Holy Spirit to take over the entire university (Okafor, Olumide & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). And there should not be any distraction from the mission of the university (David & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

Babcock University is to be mindful of "who to employ as workers in the university" (Solo, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). The university has to ensure that the people who are employed are those who will uphold standards and integrity. And the opinions of the lower rank staff on important issues are to be considered before decisions are taken in order to make everyone part of decisions and to hold everyone accountable (Solo, Tait & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

Another thing that can be done to improve the level of integrity is to train directors and officers in their area of engagement. This is to ensure effectiveness in carrying out one's duty. Effectiveness promotes integrity. Babcock University needs to make sure that the right people are engaged in the right duty and in the right places; putting "square peg in a square hole" (Solo & Tait, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

There is a need also to improve compensation. When people are compensated appropriately, they will uphold integrity and work hard for an organization. Promise also needs to be fulfilled to those that have been promised one thing or the other. When this is done, integrity can be promoted with ease (Solo, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Parents and community (where the university is situated) should not be eliminated totally from issues regarding the running of the institution. When the community and parents are involved, "there is no secret or anything to hide." This will encourage the stakeholders to be opened to the university, thereby promoting integrity (David, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). The university is to demonstrate faith by upholding the NUC standard. There should not be more admissions than the available facilities and admission allow, and it should be closed at when due (Solo & Tait, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).


5. Discussion and Conclusion

Christian religious education is the type of education in which a Christian worldview is the basis of educational practices. This kind of education focuses not only on intellectual growth of students but on holistic development which aims at helping students to grow belief, values and exemplary behaviour. It helps students to develop physically, intellectually and spiritually. Biblical worldview is the determinant of every principle and policy of such institution; because the goal is to connect students back to the image of God in which they were created and to teach students to weave together beliefs and behaviour preparing them to meet the societal challenges with sincerity and an objective mind, impacting society positively.

Integrity is a crucial factor to accomplish the goal Christian religious education has to achieve. Integrity cannot be separated from Christian religious education, it is the bedrock of a true education. Contrary to the understanding of employees at Babcock University, every employee should understand the type of education being practised is Christian education, so as to know how each one fits into the system. The recruitment of workers is an important factor that determines how integrity is valued in Christian higher institution. Administrators in the Christian educational system should employ those who will be willing to uphold the standard (Abolarin, 2017).

Babcock University practices Christian religious education and it has integrity as one of its core values. As a Christian religious institution, Babcock University has different activities and programmes in place to expose students to biblical teachings and principles. Some of such activities are church worship, hall worship, and weeks of spiritual emphasis. There are programmes too for the faculty and staff to keep burning the flame of the Christian nature of the university. Despite all these measures, there are still struggles on how to really establish integrity on the campus due to some individuals who place personal interest above the institutional interest.

Although there are some leaders who exemplify integrity in Babcock University, this same approach should be true of every other leader (all principal officers, directors, deans, and heads of departments). When all these people uphold integrity, there is a possibility that other workers will emulate them. The administration should listen to the voices of the lower cadre of workers.

Before a Christian religious education could truly be, integrity should take priority. Christian religious education by its name indicates the link with a higher being-God-and all that is done in the system should show the linkage. Every religion promotes integrity which is demonstrated by being truthful, sincere, trustworthy, maintaining standards always, and standing for the right irrespective of the consequence. Integrity should be a core value in Christian religious educational systems. It should be promoted and practised. Without integrity, a Christian religious education ceases to be religious. Unfortunately, perfection is a scarce commodity, even in Babcock University with all the factors to ensure integrity, it is still not at a perfect level. And recruitment can play a major role in the ethos of an organization; therefore Babcock University and every other Christian educational system should take recruitment as important as the running of the institution. The importance of integrity in educational system should be promoted and pursued in Christian religious education. This will influence the product and the society at large.

5.1 Recommendations

1. People who believe and are ready to exemplify integrity should be made leaders of Christian religious educational systems by the governing councils; and by extension, to other institutions of higher learning.

2. The administration should employ people who are ready to live the life of integrity in Christian institutions of higher learning.

3. Inclusive systems of leadership should be practised by the administration by putting departments and committees that could promote integrity in place. Community and parents should be made to feel part of the ownership of institutions of higher learning.

4. Administration should ensure the implementation of integration of faith and learning in every aspect of the institution's life.

5. Administration should ensure freedom of speech with quality control so as to allow for self-expression that will promote integrity.



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DATES: Published: 14 December 2020



Author Contributions
The two authors considered the need for the study and came up with the title and the objectives based on one of the current issues on education in Nigeria. Both author sought sources participated in data collection. Abolarin analysed the data and put the work together. Babalola read the analysis and contributed to the discussion.

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