Posted on Wed 21 Jun 2017, 01:17 PM

The Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) has denied reports that Christian Religious Knowledge, CRK, has been removed as a subject of study from the curriculum of public secondary schools in Nigeria while Islamic Religious Studies, IRS, has been reintroduced.

Recently, the Christian Association of Nigeria met with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo in protest of a compulsory removal of Christian Religious Knowledge from schools in the country. Read here

In a statement, Professor Ismail Junaidu, the Executive Secretary of NERDC said “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.”

“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.”
 
He added, “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.”
 
See the full statement below…
 
SITUATION OF CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE, ISLAMIC STUDIES AND CIVIC
EDUCATION AT THE BASIC EDUCATION LEVEL
 
Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) has the
mandate to develop Curriculum for Basic and Senior Secondary Education
levels. The process of Curriculum Development ranging from High Level
Policy Committee on the review of National Curriculum, made up of
eminent Nigerians, 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.
 
The curricula passes through the next stages of planning, development,
critique and editorial as well as the approval stages of the Joint
Consultative Committee on Education (JCCE) both reference and Plenary
made up of a broad spectrum of stakeholders, all Directors in
education, NGOs, CBOs and International Development Partners among
others.
 
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.
 
These claims are that:
 
(a)        Christian Religious Knowledge is no longer existing in
school but it is a theme in Civic Education
 
(b)        Islamic Arabic Studies/French subjects have been introduced
in the new curriculum; and that a pupil/student will study either
Islamic Arabic studies or French.
 
(c)        Christian Student, based on claim (b) will be left with no
option than to study Islamic Arabic Studies since French teachers are
more or less non-existent in schools
 
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.
 
In view of the claims therefore, NERDC hereby states that:
 
(a)        CRK is still taught in schools; as a separate distinct
subject with the accompanying Teachers’ Guide
  
(b)        CRK is not a theme in Civic Education. Civic Education is a
distinct subject on its own which teaches the rudiments of good
citizenship.
 
(c)        There is no subject in the Nigerian School Curriculum
called Islamic Arabic Studies nor anywhere in the world as being
speculated
 
(d)        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.
 
As a Regional Centre of Curriculum Excellence, we are very receptive
to good suggestions from all critical stakeholders especially ideas
that are policy driven and within the scope of our mandate. Indeed, we
sincerely appreciate the organizations, institutions and individuals
that considered it wise to contact us on this matter.
 
NERDC stands for integrity and excellence in educational research and
development. The management stands for education for human dignity,
economic reconstruction and value reorientation.

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.
 
Professor Ismail Junaidu
Executive Secretary

 

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