CAN expresses worry over the reintroduction of IRK as a ‘compulsory’ course in secondary schools

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[Abuja]–The Christian Association of Nigeria has called on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to stop the Ministry of Education from reintroducing  Islamic Religious Knowledge to the secondary school curriculum.

CAN President Rev. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle made the call when he led a delegation to the Presidential Villa to visit Osinbajo at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja Wednesday.

The CAN president, whose speech was released to State House reporters Thursday, described the curriculum as divisive, obnoxious, ungodly and a time bomb which, he warned, could set the country on fire, Daily Trust reports.

“We are here to point your attention to a time-bomb, obnoxious, divisive and ungodly secondary school  curriculum that the Federal Ministry of Education is introducing into our schools and of which we had earlier complained to the Presidency. Then, if I am not mistaking, it was suspended but has again been re-introduced without any review at all. This curriculum, the brain-child of Nigerian Educational Research Council, an agency of the Federal Ministry of Education.

“To us in Christian Association of Nigeria, it’s introduction is an ill-wind that blows nobody any good for so many reasons…In this curriculum, Islamic and Christian Religious Studies will no longer be studied in schools as subjects on their own but as themes in a civic education.

“This is undermine the sound moral values that these two subjects had imparted in the past to our children which had made us to religiously and ethnically co-exist without any tension. It was some three or two decades ago when our education planners started removing the teaching of religious values through the cancellation of morning devotion in schools that all these violence by youths in different forms came on board. I was in a meeting yesterday with some Muslim leaders where one of them also expressed his fears about the dangers in this new curriculum. As prophets to the nation, we demand a complete withdraw and ban of this curriculum.

“If allowed to be implemented, it would lead us to a godless nation with violence and all forms of ungodliness as the order of the day.
Furthermore sir, this curriculum went ahead to introduce Islamic  Arabic Studies in another section together with French and made one of the two compulsory for the student. You are aware that we have very low percentage of French teachers in all our secondary schools in Nigeria. I am sure that over 80% of our secondary schools do not have French teachers at all but have Arabic teachers.

“The implication is that Christian students would have no choice than to study Arabic. If a Christian student voluntarily goes to study Islamic Religious Studies, there is nothing bad in that because some of us in both religions had done that before for better understanding, however, where the student is tactically forced into studying it because the alternative subject does not have teacher to teach it, it is a great problem tending to Islamisation.

“Still in this  curriculum, Islamic Religious Knowledge was equally made available as a subject in another section without any corresponding availability of  Christian Religious Knowledge. Is this not a divisive curriculum that can set the nation on fire? Is this fair to millions of Christians in this nation? A Christian student in a secondary school in Kwara State had the body lacerated with cane by the Arabic Teacher because the pupil refused to do Arabic Studies when French Teacher was not available and Christian Religious Knowledge, Hebrew or Greek were not part of the options at all.

“If we are going to do pilgrimage together as a nation, there must be fairplay, mutual respect for one another and justice which can be brought about by different arms of government. We demand for justice from the government on this matter very quickly. We would request for a return to the curriculum we were using before this dangerous one which did not produce insurgents or a wrongly indoctrinated Nigerians. A stitch in time saves nine.”

The CAN also asked Osinbajo to act on the activities of herdsmen ‘before they destroy almost all Nigerians or before everybody would look for weapons for self defence. The sources of their weapons must be probed.”

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