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Friday, June 23, 2017

CRK CURRICULUM: CAN insists Education Minister has hidden agenda...

CRK CURRICULUM: CAN insists Education Minister has hidden agenda

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has maintained that the Federal Ministry of Education under the headship of Mallam Adamu Adamu has a hidden agenda in respect to the issue of religious studies in the present curriculum of education. CAN also accused the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) of being part of the agenda and challenged them to publish the full details of the controversial new curriculum of education to prove they have no hidden agenda.
CAN had in a recent meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, raised some disturbing issues over Religious Studies in the new curriculum of education and called on the government to ensure there is no discrimination against any student because of religious beliefs in public schools. ‎ CAN president, Rev. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, in the meeting with Osinbajo noted, “…In this curriculum, Islamic and Christian Religious Studies will no longer be studied in schools as subjects on their own but as themes in a civic education. This undermines the sound moral values that these two subjects had imparted in the past to our children which had made us to religiously and ethnically co-exist without any tension. “…Islamic Religious Knowledge was equally made available as a subject in another section without any corresponding availability of Christian Religious Knowledge. Is this not a divisive curriculum that can set the nation on fire? Is this fair to millions of Christians in this nation?”
He was however faulted by the Federal Ministry of Education, who called on Nigerians to disregard the claims. The ministry, argued through its director press, Mrs. Chinenye Ihuoma, that it only designed a new subject which merged Civic Education (IRS), CRK and Social Studies into “Religion and National Values”. “Now, a new subject has been introduced, called Religion and National Values. It is a fusion of religion and civics. I have not seen the details but in a case where you have subject combinations in the same period, everyone will attend lectures that correspond with their own religion. “Arabic and Islamic Studies are not standing alone. Islamic Religious Study and Christian Religious Study as well as national values will be taught under a new subject,’’ she said.
Meanwhile, the executive secretary of NERDC, Professor Ismail Junaidu, speaking on the matter contradicted the position of the Ministry of Education.
NERDC was said to have claimed that CRK is still taught in schools as a separate distinct subject with the accompanying Teachers’ Guide. “CRK is not a theme in Civic Education. Civic Education is a distinct subject on its own which teaches the rudiments of good citizenship,” Junaidu had stated. But CAN says that the two positions were contradictory. Can queried, “If the two religions were different subjects in the new curriculum, why did the Minister have to seek the approval of the agency ‘to make Christian Religious Knowledge compulsory for all Christians students and Islamic Studies compulsory for their Muslim counterparts?  “Again, if the two religious studies are being taught separately, why is the agency stating that ‘Efforts are in top gear to print the Christian Religious Knowledge and Islamic Studies Curriculum separately in order to maintain their characteristics and distinctiveness.
“These statements underscore our position that the subjects were merged before! Do we need to run away from underscoring the importance of these two subjects which focus on teaching the fear of God, love for others and so on at a time like when our nation is facing the challenge of violence and breakup? “If the new curriculum is treating the two religious subjects separately as being claimed, why do we have a satanic topic in the Civic Education like ‘IS JESUS THE SON OF GOD’? Or is the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo who disclosed to CAN leadership that this was in the curriculum he earlier saw lying too?”
CAN therefore demanded among other things, that the implementation of the curriculum be suspended till a workshop is organised where all the stakeholders must be well represented. This was contained in a statement released by Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant, Media & Communications to CAN president.

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