From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has rejected explanations from the Federal Government on alleged merger of Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) with other subjects in Nigerian schools.
The association has challenged government to publish full details of the new curriculum for Nigerians to see.
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, had, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, on Wednesday, explained to State House Correspondents that rumours of alteration in the school curriculum, to favour a certain faith or interest was not true but was orchestrated by mischief makers who are bent on creating religious and ethnic divisive environment.
“There is no truth in that at all. It was just somebody’s imagination, probably somebody who wanted to raise tension in the country, after the Biafra issue and the quit order given by some young people in the North, on people from a certain part of the country.
“So, the person just followed suit trying to fan embers of religion. Disregard the information because there was no truth whatsoever in that. I repeat, no truth in it.”
Similarly, Executive Secretary, Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), Prof. Ismail Junaidu, was said to have faulted CAN’s position, but contradicted the position of the ministry.
He insisted that CRK is still taught in schools as a separate distinct subject with the accompanying teachers’ guide. “It is not a theme in civic education, but a distinct subject that teaches the rudiments of good citizenship,” he explained.
Dissatisfied with the explanations, CAN President, Dr. Ayokunle Supo issued a statement in Abuja, yesterday, where he insisted that the minister was being economical with the truth as regards the content of the new adjustments in the education curriculum.
He said in the new curriculum, IRK and CRK would no longer be studied as subjects on their own, but as themes in civic education.
This, he said, undermines sound moral values that these two subjects had imparted on children which had made enhanced religious and ethnic co-existence without any tension.
He said IRK was equally made available as a subject in another section without any corresponding availability of CRK.
“Is this not a divisive curriculum that could set the nation on fire? Is this fair to millions of Christians in this nation?”
The CAN president cited a recent case in Kwara State where a student was punished for refusing to register for IRK.