Learner-Centered Education Paradigm as a Solution to the Problem of Cultism in Our Tertiary Institution

Learner-Centered Education Paradigm as a Solution to the Problem of Cultism in Our Tertiary Institution


Cultism is one of the causes of students’ restiveness on various campuses. This is as a result of poor orientation, ideology, and culture that youths get towards education. Many young people see tertiary education as an avenue to assert their individuality through wearing outlandish attire, giving money to lecturers for grades, engaging in illegal activities to seek protection and get wealth. Pedagogical education has made many toils wasteful of activities without discovering their innate potentials. This study seeks to address the problem of cultism through learner-centered Education.




Education has been traditionally thought of as the preparation, learning, acquisition of certain things because they will be useful. It is a preliminary to something more important to happen later on. Childhood is only a preparation for adult life and adult life for another life. Also, the future, not the present has been a significant thing in education. Education is thought of also as something needed by some human beings merely because of their interdependence on others. We are born ignorant, unversed, unskilled, immature, and consequently in a state of social dependence. Instruction, training, and moral discipline are processes by which the adult gradually raises the helpless to the point where they can fend for themselves. The business of childhood is to grow into the independence of adulthood, through the guidance of those who have already attained it.

As a father watches his young son crawl on the floor, trying to walk, he is filled with a desire to help him. The father flashily conceptualizes his transition from childhood and adolescence – to manhood. He then sees that the son will soon start living in society – the moment he starts playing with age mates. His father tries to pass on to him, as he grows up, some practical workable philosophy of life. Those ideas he had believed, during his attempt to live a full and useful life – to enable the child to live better with the boy next door, with the thousands in the city, with the millions in the country – and lo! With the billions in the wider world. And we hope that almost every parent will do the same. And we hope our children won’t hear over and over again, the key to the disciplined, principled and successful life we have lived – and still live by it. According to Dr. Nelson Gluech, speaking of his belief says: “There is no sense in my attempting ever to flee circumstances and conditions which cannot be avoided – but which I might bravely meet and frequently mend and often turn to good account. I know that half the nettle is won is I can face trouble with courage, disappointment with spirit, and triumph with humility. It has become ever clearer to me that the danger is far from a disaster, that defeat may be the forerunner of final victory and that in the last analysis all achievements are perilously fragile unless based on enduring principle of moral conduct…I believe that my perplexities and difficulties can be considered resolved if not completely overcome, by my attitudes and actions …”.

Deep faith in God is necessary to keep me and hold mankind uncowed and confident under the vagaries and ordeals of moral experience, and particularly so in this period of revolutionary storm and travail. If our values receive their sanction and strength from relationship to divine law and acceptance of its ethical imperative then nothing can harm us. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want”.


Secret societies have been existing in Nigeria even before the coming of the colonial masters or early colonialism. They were formed by a group of individuals with the sole aim of seeking protection from their ancestors by conducting rituals, initiations are conducted for people that want to belong to a particular sect of masquerade. Once initiated, the secrets concerning the masquerade are observed thoroughly by its members.

In the late 40s, the higher institutions in Nigeria were not associated with secret societies. The first secret cult in Nigeria came into existence in 1952 when a group of seven students led by Professor Wole Soyinka, Olumuyiwa Are, Ralph Opara, D, Aig-Imokhuede, Tunji Tubi, and Olu Aguuloye founded the Seadogs Confraternity (a.k.a Pyrate) in the University of Ibadan. The sole objective of founding the cult was to fight colonialism, ensure the dignity of man, and rid the Nigerian society of elitism and tribalism. Its members engaged in humanitarian activities such as donation of blood to hospitals to save lives and presentation of gifts to orphanages, to assist the helpless in society. “Everything we did then was healthy, firm harmless and above board” recalled Muyiwa Awe, one of the founding fathers. Although they left school for different locations they remained members of the organization.

Twenty years later, the Pyrates’ Confraternity began to change significantly. Rancours, feuds, factions degenerated into divisions and splitting of factions. It began with the breaking away of a faction of the group known as the Buccaneers confraternity in the campus scene in the year 1972. The rebellion of the Buccaneer was led by a group of thirty led by Dr. Bolaji Carew whose cult name was “Rica Ricardo”. He is presently the Supreme Eye and Spiritual Head of the Association. The logo of the Buccaneer reads “A dog has a Master and the Master is a Lord.” This is an open challenge to the Pyrates confraternity. Other slogans of the Buccaneer are “Blud for Blud”, Odas is Odas”, No price no pay. On the 10thanniversary in 1982, the Buccaneer confraternity became the Buccaneer Association of Nigeria. The Buccaneers (a.k.a Sea Lords) were soon followed by the Vikings’ confraternity. “There was general disenchantment with the activities of the first two cults,” a spokesman said, “Those who once claimed they stood against oppression later resorted to it as a means of subduing their fellow students who were civilians”.

So came the three sailors whose aims and objectives were almost the same, whose major difference has remained their ‘modus operandi and their choice of camouflage and logo. While the Sea Dogs took red as their color, the Buccaneers and the Vikings chose yellow and black respectively. Admission of new members into the Sea Dogs was highly restricted at inception, the same became true of the Buccaneers and the Vikings. As a result of this, students who for one reason or the other wanted to “belong” started gathering and in most cases ended up with a group of their own Needless saying that as the group continued to split their objectives and aims also metamorphosized from engaging in humanitarian services to cannibalistic tendencies. Since the 80s, the rate of splitting and disintegration had been rapid such that presently, we have over one hundred different cult groups with fanciful names, in our higher institutions. Some of the cult groups that later developed after the monopolistic tendency of the sailors include Black-axe, Eiye, Mafia, Maphite, Klansman Confraternity, Black Beret, Black Cat, Black Cross, Jurist, Mgba Mgba, Thomas Sankara Boys, Black Brassier, etc. But one thing that is common among them all is that they have lost the vision and mission of the founding fathers and have all degenerated to unnecessary rivalry and violence amongst themselves leading to unnecessary carnage and hair-splitting bloodshed in our higher institutions.

So many unsuspecting students have been lured into joining secrete cult societies through deception. Such deception includes; becoming one of the untouchables once you are a member of a secret cult, owing to the most beautiful girl on campus, passing your exams without study, etc.

For those who are lured through such lies, there is no apology because it is only highly mischievous, untrained, and morally deficient students that would subscribe to such lies. For, what manner of student are you, that membership of a secret cult will enable you to short-circuit studies. The fact is that there is no student without studies!

The lie is a major characteristic of secret cult members. These lies are quite misleading, especially for those who have no idea about their activities. We owe it a duty to lay before the youths the facts about cult activities.


The study is very important because it will enlighten people on the consequences of joining secret cults in school .every hand will be on the desk in the fight against cultism. The following will be beneficiaries;

Parents will check their children’s activities and friends.

Academic and non-academic staff will go the extra mile by adding value to their job to prevent students from joining cults.

Academic researchers, government, and all those involved in curriculum planning will see the need to embrace education that touches life or learner-centered education to keep the students’ minds into active reasoning.


The study is carried out to expose the consequences of cultism and the damage it causes in our tertiary institutions.


Is cultism a healthy practice among Nigerian youths?

To what extent has pedagogy made dormant the minds of our youth?

To what extent has a conventional method of teaching caused youth restiveness in tertiary institutions?

What can be done to help Nigerian youths become morally, caring and responsible citizens?

Is given life and value-oriented education, the rightful approach to youth empowerment, especially at the tertiary level of education?

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