CRK not removed from school curriculum, FG insists

 
For the second time in two days, the Federal Gov­ernment has denied that the Ministry of Education has delisted Christian Reli­gious Knowledge (CRK) from the curriculum of secondary schools.
After the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday in Abuja, which was chaired by Acting President Yemi Osinba­jo, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, urged Nigerians to ignore the reports on the matter in a section of the print and social media because they were baseless.

At the FEC meeting, the cabinet resolved to convene an emergency retreat in Abu­ja within two weeks to address the falling standards and other knotty issues in the nation’s ed­ucation sector.

Adamu listed the areas of crises in the sector as out-of-school children, inadequate use of Information and Communi­cations Technology (ICT), tech­nical education, and training of teachers.

The minister said that he came to the FEC meeting with an education sector blueprint prepared by his ministry but that other ministers opted for the convening of an encom­passing stakeholders’ retreat to resolve the issues.

He said the day’s FEC ses­sion deliberated the education­al problems in the country and “members agreed that the fall­ing standard in education is so serious that we will need a min­isterial retreat to look at all the issues”.

Yesterday, the minister ac­cused journalists of lying to the public and deceiving Christian leaders who are aggrieved over the allegation.

His words: “You (journal­ists) especially those of you on the social media are not helping this nation by bandying things that are absolutely false. One is 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 (CAN) because they believed it.

“I read in the papers that they asked the Acting Presi­dent to confirm it, but 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 in trying to stoke the embers of religion. There is no truth in it 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 because we believe we want our young people to know our history. You cannot know who you are with­out knowing who your ances­tors were.

“And the National Coun­cil of Education did accept and agree that the teaching and learning of CRK has been made compulsory for all Chris­tian 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 that 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 our history,” he said.

Also in a statement, titled: “Situation of Christian Religious Knowledge, Islamic Studies and Civic Education at the Basic Ed­ucation Level”, the Nigerian Ed­ucational Research and Devel­opment Council (NERDC), said that the claims on the re­moval of CRS were not true.

NERDC is mandated to develop Curriculum for Basic and Senior Secondary Educa­tion levels.

In the statement signed by NERDC Executive Secretary, Prof. Ismail Junaidu, he said that 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, directors in education, NGOs, CBOs, and internation­al development partners.

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 poli­cymaking body in education in Nigeria, made up of the 36 states’ Commissioners of Edu­cation and the FCT under the chairmanship of the Minister of Education.

He said: “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 Minister of Education sought and obtained the approval of the National Council on Edu­cation to make Christian Reli­gious Knowledge compulsory for all Christian 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.

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