It turns out the controversy is unnecessary since the amendment to the curriculum in 2012 was approved by Christians.
A lot of people felt that the decision to have the Islamic Religious Knowledge, IRK, and Christian Religious Knowledge, CRK, under Religion and National Values, instead of leaving them as separate subjects was a major attempt to ‘Islamize Nigeria.’
This revised curriculum also had Arabic and French languages as electives. Having Arabic as an elective, combined with the removal of CRK as a separate subject, got everyone upset.
The Internet went wild as people accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for attempting to Islamize the country.
According to the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, all the uproar was unnecessary.
Premium Times reports that he said that there is no proof that the amended curriculum was an attempt to Islamise the country.
His explanation is that the curriculum, introduced in 2012 and implemented in 2014, had been approved by Christians.
These Christians were former President Goodluck Jonathan, the minister of basic education at that time, Nyesom Wike, and Godswill Obioma, the ex-chairman of the National Education Research and Development Council.
“It is very absurd that anybody would think these officials wanted to Islamize Nigeria," he added.
Basically, he is saying that the fact that Christians, not Muslims, were the ones to approve the revised curriculum is the proof that it was NOT an attempt to Islamize Nigeria.
Just so you know, the curriculum was amended to reduce the number of subjects and improve the quality of education in Nigeria.
Mr Obioma explained the need for the change during the launch of the revised curriculum in 2014.
In his words, “After the assessment, we discovered that the subjects offered were many. We presented the issue at the Presidential summit on Restoration, Reclamation and Sustenance of the quality of Education in Nigeria. NERDC was directed by the Federal Government to revise the nine-year BEC in terms of its subject, between six and 13, and it should then be in line with the global best practices, taking into account local needs.”
The former NERDC chairman also announced the development of Teacher’s Guide for each subject.
He said,“In order to ensure uniform implementation, the NERDC has developed a Teacher’s Guide for each subject listed. The Teacher’s Guides are intended to enhance the effective delivery as well as eliminate ambiguities in the teaching of the curriculum.”
Meanwhile, the ongoing controversy over the curriculum has forced the Federal Government to order NERDC to revise the curriculum.
NERDC has been ordered to reinstate CRK and IRK as separate subjects. Mr Adamu gave the order during a meeting with stakeholders in Abuja.
Represented by Anthony Anwukah, minister of state for education, he said, “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 push that to the NERDC.”
In no time, CRK will be reinstated as a separate subject and the religious studies drama will finally be put to rest.