Nigeria Ministry Of Education Reject Alleged Removal Of Christian Religion Knowledge

The Nigerian government has reacted to controversy over alleged removal of key religious subjects from the country’s education curriculum.

According to an interview with PREMIUM TIMES Monday, the acting Executive Secretary of Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), Kate Nwufo, denied claims that Christian Religious Studies had been removed from the curriculum, or was now studied as a single subject.

“We have developed a curriculum on Religion and National Values to expose pupils to see relationship between moral values – which entails religion, social values – and civic values,” Mrs. Nwufo said.

The Christian Association of Nigeria has raised concerns last week over the allege removal of Christian Religion Knowledge. “Criminal activities are growing at an alarming rate all over the country,” he said. “Just last week, we saw somebody’s son that was arrested in Lagos for his notorious kidnapping offences,” Mr. Ayokunle said in reference to the arrest of the notorious kidnapper, Chukwudi Onwuamadike, a.k.a., Evans.

The New curriculum

Copies of the curriculum she gave to PREMIUM TIMES showed that Christian Religious Studies remains part of the curriculum along with Islamic Studies. Under it are the following subjects:

1. Civic Education
2. Social Studies
3. Christian Religious Knowledge
4. Islamic Studies, and
5. Security Education.

The latest curriculum was adopted in 2012 under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan and is not due for review until 2019, the acting executive secretary said.

Mrs. Nwufo said “teachers across the country have been adequately trained” on how to use the curriculum.

“A teachers’ guide was also handed to them.” she added

She further stated that even then, religious subjects were never directed to be taught together, they are to be taught by different teachers and at different times.

She said CAN was part of the committee that designed the latest curriculum alongside other Islamic leaders.

“We wrote to CAN and they presented two candidates to us in persons of Ray Chukwura of ECWA Goodnews and Dominick Oleagbe from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria,” she claimed.

But CAN denied being part of the committee, saying the education authority had already started designing the curriculum before it raised alarm.

“It was when we raised alarm and went to see the minister of education at the time that we were told that two Christians have been nominated as part of the committee with NERDC,” Timothy Opoola, chairman of CAN in Kwara State said.

“We told them to allow CAN present delegates but CAN never presented candidates because they did not allow it,” he said.

The cleric also said questions set for Basic Education Certificate Examination slated for next month in Kwara State included separate Islamic-related subjects, while Christian course is absent.

But education authorities in the state rejected the claims.

“I can tell you categorically that we don’t have any separate Islamic studies in our schools,” Musa Yeketi, Kwara State Commissioner of Education, told PREMIUM TIMES Tuesday. “We use the national curriculum.”

But he said there are exceptions in the composition of school curricular in the state.

“All the students take the same course, except those from dedicated Islamic schools.

“We have College of Arabic and Islamic Studies in the state, about five across the state.

“Only students from the school will take the Junior Islamic Studies —in religious knowledge and Arabic language— and Arabic Islamic History.

“The Christian Religious Studies, CRS, and Islamic Religious Studies, IRS, are to be taken by Christian and Muslim students, respectively, alongside the national values subject,” the commissioner said.

Mr. Yeketi said Religion and National Values were not the only subjects merged.

“Basic Science and Technology, for instance, is a composition of information technology, physical and health education, and general science,” he said.

But the national values questions are mandatory for all students.

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