Christian missionary system of education can be seen as the type of education given or introduce by the various Christian denomination to their followers with the intention of making them become good and civilized people. This type of education primarily based it teaching on the Holy Bible as well as European culture and civilization. Early Christian missionary education was also involved in agriculture with the use of hoe and plough and also teaching the Bible i.e evangelical in nature. The Christian missionary education introduced the western education in the mid-nineteenth century.


  1. To spread Western civilization to the people. They felt that Africans, Nigeria inclusive were barbaric and crude in their culture, daily living activities and thought, some even muse the ideas that Africans were cannibalistic in nature. There were killing of Twins in some part of Nigeria, the sacrifice of human though not all over Nigeria. The missionary must be commended for their great effort in trying to eradicate trace of barbarism, cannibalism ritual murders, and sacrifice and other acts of slavery.

  2. Another aim of Christian missionary education is that of evangelism. They had the belief of spreading the goodness as contained in the Bible to the unbelievers, hoping that through the teaching and spreading of the goodness they will be able to wipe out idolatry and win souls for Christ.

  3. Another aim was to be able to communicate freely with their new convert’s i.e to propagate education. They needed to have free and easy communication with their converts and for them to be able to read the Bible and also to help them spread the gospel quick in order to reduce the workload for them.

  4. Another important aim of Christian missionary education was to wipe out slave trade and slavery. The missionary based throughout the country took it as a responsibility to educate their converts and the public against the continuation of slave trade.

  5. Some of the early missionary had some commercial motive by going into large-scale forming in cash crops production.


The Christian missionary education content was gear to meet the need of evangelical work and other European interest present in Nigerian as at then. The Christian missionary education has the famous Rs which means, the teaching of religion, writing, reading and arithmetic. Singing and music was a subject that missionary education gave attention to because they believe it plays a role which formed more than half of their education. The content of most of their teachings and historical events were foreign i.e British and European history. They also had vocational training. They were also involved in domestic science, arts and craft, industrial and technical education were given due attention.


  1. Lack of uniform standards:

Each of them operates different syllabuses and conducted the different examination. Their daily activities and calendars were different.

  1. Creation of educated Elite Class:

Missionary education brought about unnecessary pride and arrogance in the educated youths.

They felt they were better than their mate and well, they also shunned things that were native.

  1. Ineffective Teaching Methods:

The principal teaching method used in the missionary schools was the expository method which does not actually facilitate much learning at the junior classes.

  1. Encouragement of Foreign Culture:

It was noticed that missionary form education did not promote indigenous culture it promoted Western culture.


  1. Fafunwa, B. (1974): History of Education in Nigeria, London: George and Unwin.

  2. Ogunu, M.A. (1990), History of Education for Nigeria Student: Benin: Aambik press.

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