The Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council, NERDC, has said that the Christian Religious Knowledge subject has never been removed from the curriculum of the basic and senior secondary education.
The council, who dispelled rumours peddled in the social media that the subject is no longer distinct, but merged with Civic education, reiterated the full status of CRK as a subject like all subjects in the curriculum.
Executive secretary of the council, Ismail Junaid, said on Wednesday in a statement that the no pupil would be forced to take any subject that is not part of his belief, against the rumours going round.
“The Basic Education Curriculum which includes the Christian Religious Knowledge and Islamic Studies Curricula was approved in 2013 by the National Council on Education which is the apex policy making body in education in Nigeria, made up of all the 36 States Commissioners of Education and the FCT under the Chairmanship of the Honourable Minister of Education.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the last review of the curriculum was approved in 2013 and implementation commenced in September, 2014. In both instances, neither the Christian Religious Knowledge nor Islamic Studies was removed from the curriculum.
“In fact, at the commencement of the present administration, the Hon. Minister of Education sought and obtained the approval of the National Council on Education to make Christian Religious Knowledge compulsory for all Christians students and Islamic Studies compulsory for their Muslim counterparts.
“The claims peddled on social media platforms and a national daily are to say the least speculative, false and unfounded. Specifically as regards the Religion and National Values Curriculum, Mr Junaidu, a professor, said.
He clarified that the process of curriculum development to have been a wide-ranging, high-level committee comprising of stakeholders in education, parents, market women, faith based organizations, traditional rulers, NGOs, CBOs, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, NAPPS, Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, Association of Nigerian Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools, ANCOPS, and International Development Partners and Organised Private Sector. This is to give direction and develop a framework for the type of curriculum that Nigeria needs in the 21st century.
“It is obvious after perusing these claims, that while some of the peddlers operate from the oblivious side of information, many resort to this out of mischief needless of being extended into the critical sector of education.
“The Management of NERDC hereby reiterates categorically and unequivocally to all Nigerians that the subject offerings (Civic Education, Social Studies, Christian Religious Knowledge, Islamic Studies and Security Education) under the Religion and National Values Curriculum are distinct, as listed and taught separately on the time table.
“In this Curriculum, no child should be coerced or compelled to learn or be taught in school any religious studies subject but only one (out of the two) that restrictively relates to the belief system professed by the child and his/her parents.
“Teachers had been trained in the six Geopolitical Zones to be able to teach these distinct subjects. They are well aware of the mode of teaching the Religion and National Values Curriculum as distinct subjects on the time-table,” the statement said.
He said there is no subject in the Nigerian School Curriculum called Islamic Arabic Studies nor anywhere in the world as being speculated.
Mr Junaidu said while there is no subject in the Nigerian School Curriculum called Islamic Arabic Studies nor anywhere in the world as being speculated, French is a compulsory subject from Primary 4 as dictated by the National Policy on Education Section 2 sub-section 23.7p 13.
“Efforts are in top gear to print the Christian Religious Knowledge and Islamic Studies Curriculum separately in order to maintain their characteristics and distinctiveness.
“We therefore sincerely appeal to politicians and fifth columnist to desist from dragging education into the political melee capable of destabilising the education sector and mortgaging the future of upcoming generation of Nigerians,” he said.