The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, on Wednesday denied the submission by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) last week that Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) had been removed from secondary school education curriculum, saying instead, CRK has been made compulsory for Christian pupils.
Adamu who made this clarification while briefing journalists at the end of yesterday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in the State House, said CRK had been made compulsory for Christian pupils the same way Islamic Religious Knowledge was made compulsory for Muslim pupils.
The President of CAN, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, had last week led a delegation to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, with an allegation that the Ministry of Education had replaced CRK with Islamic and Arabic Studies, acting on the recommendation of National Education, Research and Development Council.
However, Adamu said the dummy was sold to CAN by the social media and probably by an individual who wanted to add to the growing tension in the country caused by the agitation for secession by some people in the South-east and the consequent vacation order in the North, insisting that CRK was not removed in the curriculum.
“On the issue of CRK which the social media took up and deceived the leadership of CAN and they believed it because as l read in the newspapers, they were asking the acting president to confirm it, there is no truth in it at all.
“It was just the work of somebody’s imagination; probably somebody who wishes to raise the tension of the country after the Biafra issue and then quit order given by some young people in the North; it then follows that somebody is trying to fuel the embers of the tension. There is no truth whatsoever in it. Certainly, there was a policy in 2012 which was given effect in 2014 before this government came in.
“One of the things I did when I assumed the office of the minister was to speak to the National Educational Council to disarticulate History from Social Studies curriculum because we needed young people to know History. You cannot know who you are without knowing who your ancestors were.
“The next thing l did was to ask the National Council on Education (NEC) to accept and agree to it and they did accept and agreed. The CRK has been made compulsory for all Christians and Islamic Religious Knowledge has also been made compulsory for all Muslims,” he said.
Adamu also disclosed that FEC was worried by the poor standard of education in the country and hence, resolved that there was the need for an education retreat which he said would offer the ministers the platform to brainstorm on the state of education in the country and come up with solutions.
“Today, at FEC, we discussed many issues but the most important is that of education. All members of FEC agreed that the standard and situation of education are so serious that we need a ministerial retreat to look at all the issues. There are so many issues in education and all of them are crying for solution. So, there will be a ministerial retreat in the next two weeks to consider the issues and from there, we ‘ll take off.
“Initially, we had prepared a blueprint but FEC thought the issue is beyond that because there are crises in all the areas of education about out-of-school-children, in technical and vocational education and training, in ICT, in all areas you can think of. So, ministers are going to be talking among themselves to come up with solutions.”