CRK, IRS compulsory for students ―FG
CONTRARY to speculations that Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) has been downgraded in Secondary school curriculum while the Islamic Religious Studies has been given priority, the Federal Government on Wednesday said both subjects have indeed been made compulsory for students.
Briefing State House correspondents after the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday, Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said at no time had CRS been removed or downgraded in the curriculum.
He blamed the speculation on mischief makers who he said wanted to stoke tension in the country along the line of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and Northern youths agitations and counter agitations.
Adamu observed that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) which raised the issue at a meeting with Osinbajo last week, was obviously misled and should have confirmed from the Ministry of Education.
The minister conceded that there was a policy initiated in 2012 but given effect in 2014 but that when he assumed the post of minister, he advised the National Council of Education to make CRK and IRS compulsory and disarticulate History from Social Studies.
The minister said: “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 banding 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, 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 to some young people in the north. So, the person just followed suit trying to stoke 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 because 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.”
He advised the media to exercise restraint over the issue.
“I think I just need to tell you. Even if you are not the ones in the social media you. They must be your compatriots, please tell them to be more responsible in handling the issues especially at this time in history,” the minister declared,
Adamu revealed that FEC approved a retreat on eduction to find a lasting solution to the falling standard of eduction after it had rejected the blueprint that had been prepared by the Ministry of Education.
He said it was the only item discussed by FEC which reasoned that the problem of education was beyond a blueprint.
He added: “Council discussed single very important issue on the road map of education sector and developments.
“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 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.”