The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called for a meeting with Senate President Bukola Saraki over a new school curriculum accused of “denigrating the founder of the Christian faith” in public schools.
The Christian leadership accused the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) of refusing to address concerns of Christians over the “divisive and ungodly” curriculum. In a letter dated June 26, Musa Asake, CAN General Secretary said, “this curriculum in all its ramifications as it concerns Christian Religious Studies is obnoxious, offensive and provocative.” Asake said, “the curriculum joined together five distinctive subjects of Christian Religious Studies, Islamic Religious Studies, Social Studies, Civic Education and Security Education into one omnibus subject called Religion and National Values.”
The Christian body claimed, “By this act details and depth which are basic necessities in study and learning are sacrificed on the altar of exigency of concision.”
Pointing out that what is ‘’more worrisome to us is the observed contents of the curriculum and its approved textbooks that impudently denigrate the personality of the founder of the Christian faith,” according to Asake.
The Association said in one of the recommended textbooks by the education ministry, “the foundation truth of the Christian faith such as death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is denied”. CAN said this was a deliberated and calculated snub to the Christian faith.
“As if this obvious damage is not enough, the subject is made compulsory whereby a student must do either of the two religions as component parts of the whole subject if he or she must pass the subject in national examination,” Asake declared.
The Christian body, “notes that this compulsion is happening in a situation where states’ ministries of Education are willy-nilly not hiring teachers of a particular religion they are not favorably disposed to.” As a result of this systematic scheming, “The result is that the students are being forced to do the available contrary to their faith,” he said.
“It is our opinion that matters such as this should not be treated with levity by responsible government agency knowing that issue of religion can be volatile.” The Christian body is demanding that, “something urgent must be done to withdraw this offensive curriculum and replace it with a more robust and nationally acceptable one that will separate the two religious studies and make them on their own as individual subjects from the omnibus and unwieldy Religion and National Values.” Asake added.