Curriculum Controversy: Nigerian govt. moves to separate CRK, IRK

Education facility
FILE PHOTO: Students in a classroom

The Nigerian government has reportedly ordered the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council, NERDC to separate two subjects, the Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) and Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK) in the basic education curriculum.

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, gave the indication on Thursday in Abuja at the meeting of the Minister of Education with education authorities from the six geopolitical zones and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

The two subjects, including Civic Education, had been put under Religion and National values in the current schools’ curriculum and this has generated a lot of controversy in the last few months.

Following the controversy, the National Assembly intervened and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, assured the  Christian Association of Nigeria delegation, which had been a critic of the policy, that the senate committee on basic education would investigate the complaint and make sure the curriculum is acceptable and satisfactory to all religions.

During Thursday’s meeting, Mr Adamu said the issue would soon be laid to rest.

“There is this controversy over the merger of CRK and IRK in the school curriculum. There were complaints by parents that children were overloaded with so many subjects and the recommendation then was to merge one or two subjects. Unfortunately, water and oil were merged together and it is not working.

“So, to save ourselves the agony, the two subjects should be separated. We have pushed that to the NERDC,” he said

Mr Adamu, who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwukah, said the directive to separate the subjects become imperative in view of the various complaints by Nigerians, especially CAN.

He noted that the new policy on the subjects was not initiated by the current administration as it was an effort by the last administration of President Goodluck Jonathan to reduce the number of subjects offered by pupils and students in schools.

The acting Executive Secretary of NERDC, Kate Nwufo, confirmed receiving the minister’s directive.

Thursday’s meeting attended by the commissioners for education from various states of the federation was part of the ongoing efforts to strengthen the partnership among the three tiers of government in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 4, SDG4.

The minister noted that Nigeria has selected the Goal 4 of the SDGs, which emphasises inclusive and quality education for all and promotion of lifelong learning for implementation in view of the importance of education as a fulcrum to national development.

The minister earlier in his keynote address noted the commitment of the Federal Government to revamp the education sector and appealed to the state governments as well as relevant stakeholders to support the federal government’s effort.

Editor’s Note: The acting Executive Secretary of NERDC, Kate Nwufo, confirmed the minister’s directive on Friday, after the story had been published.

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