…Declares fallen standard in education serious
…Holds retreat in two weeks
From: Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has explained that contrary to claims peddled on social media platforms and national dailies, Christian Religious Knowledge is compulsory for all Christians students and Islamic Studies compulsory for their Muslim counterparts.
It described as false to and unfounded the claims specifically as regards the Religion and National Values Curriculum, explaining that 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 Minister of Education.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu who addressed State House Correspondents at the post-FEC briefing presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, who accused those who want to destabilize the country as being behind the claims, explained that the last review of the curriculum was approved in 2013 and implementation commenced in September, 2014.
He said both instances, neither the Christian Religious Knowledge nor Islamic Studies was removed from the curriculum.
“I will like to also address one issue which I will also throw back at you. You journalists especially those of you on social media are not helping this nation by bandying things that are absolutely false.
“The issue of Christian Religious Knowledge that all the national media, social media took up and deceived even the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria because they believed it. I read in the papers that they asked the acting president to confirm if the report is true. There is no truth in it at all. It was just somebody’s imagination probably somebody who wishes to raise tension in the country after the Biafra issue and then the quit order given by some young people in the north, so the person just followed suit trying to stoic the embers of religion. There is no truth whatsoever I repeat.
“Certainly there was a policy in 2012 which was given effect in 2014 that is even before this government came in. One of the things I did as minister was to speak to the national council on education to disarticulate history from the social studies curricula becaused we believe we want our young people to know our history. You cannot know who you are without knowing who your ancestors were in the past. And the national council of education did accept and agree that the teaching and learning of CRK has been made compulsory for all christians students and teaching and learning of Islamic studies is compulsory for all Muslim students.
“So you are actually accusing the ministry of the opposite of what it has done. I think I just need to tell you even if you are not the ones in the social media, they must be your compatriots, please tell them to be more responsible in handling the issues especially at this time in history.”
Adamu said the Federal Executive Council discussed only a single item on the agenda, the road map on education sector and developments.
According to him, Council members agreed unanimously that education has fallen and there is a need for a ministerial retreat to urgently address the issues militating against the sector.
Adamu said council members rejected the blueprint presented by the ministry, saying the problems in the sector was being blueprint.
He said, “Today at council we discussed many issues but the most important was education. Members agree that the fallen standard in education is so serious that we will need a ministerial retreat to look at all the issues. There are a lot of issues in education and all of them are crying for solution. So there will be a ministerial retreat in the next two weeks to look at the issues and from there we will take off in what we are doing.
“Initially we had prepared a blueprint but FEC felt the issues is beyond that because there are crisis in all the areas of education, in out of school children, in technical education and training, in ICT, in all the areas you can think of. So ministers are going to start talking to themselves and come out with solutions.”