According to him, the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, was deceived to believing that CRK has been removed from the curriculum.
The minister’s declaration came as Director-General of Nigerian Education Research and Development Council, NERDC, Prof Ismail Junaidu, clarified in a statement, Tuesday night, that CRK was still being taught in schools, contrary to speculations.
Amid this controversy, the Federal Executive Council, FEC, yesterday turned down the blueprint presented by the Minister of Education to revamp education in the country, opting for a retreat to have a holistic view of the problems bedeviling the education sector and proffer solutions to them.
CAN had reportedly confronted the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, last week to confirm the rumour making the round that CRK had been removed from the curriculum and had become a theme in Civic Education, while Islamic Arabic Studies/French had been introduced in the new curriculum and that pupils/students will be mandated to compulsorily study either Islamic Arabic Studies or French.
It was also alleged that with the development, Christian students will be left with no option than to study Islamic Arabic Studies since French teachers will be more or less non-existent in schools.
But briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council, FEC, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, said the present administration had never taken any decision to remove CRK from the curriculum and that the ministry had prepared a blueprint to be presented to FEC which had not been considered.
The minister further disclosed that the National Council on Education had accepted a proposal he presented to the effect that teaching and learning of CRK should be made compulsory for all Christian students and that of Islamic studies compulsory for all Muslim students.
FEC calls for retreat on roadmap
for education He said instead of considering the blueprint he had prepared, FEC agreed to organise a retreat in order to have a holistic view on the falling standard of education and the solutions to restore its lost glory.
Adamu, flanked by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said: “Council discussed a very important issue on the road map for education sector and developments. “Today (yesterday) at council, we discussed many issues but the most important was education.
Members agreed that the falling 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 and all of them are crying for attention.
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 are beyond that because there are crises 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. “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, there is no truth in it at all.
CRK still being taught in schools — NERDC
Meanwhile, giving further clarification on the CRK controversy, Director-General of NERDC, Prof. Ismail Junaidu, denied removing the subject from the curriculum, saying it was still being taught in schools.
Junaidu, who noted that the review of the curriculum was effected by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s government in 2013, with implementation starting in September 2014, said in a statement: “Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council, NERDC, has the mandate to develop Curriculum for Basic and Senior Secondary Education levels.
“The Basic Education Curriculum, which includes 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 state Commissioners of Education and the FCT under the chairmanship of the 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.
“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.”
In view of the claims, therefore, NERDC hereby states that: ”CRK is still taught in schools; as a separate distinct subject with the accompanying teachers’ guide CRK is not a theme in Civic Education.
Civic Education is a distinct subject on its own which teaches the rudiments of good citizenship. “There is no subject in the Nigerian School Curriculum called Islamic Arabic Studies nor anywhere in the world as being speculated.’’