UPDATED: Reps tell education ministry to separate CRS from IRS in curriculum

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The House of Representatives has waded into the controversies surrounding the revised secondary school curriculum by asking the ministry of education to remove the religious components of the subject, Civic Education. 

There have been arguments over the merging of Islamic Religious Studies (IRS) with Christian Religious Studies (CRS) and other components into a subject called Religion and National Values (RNV), with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) particularly screaming foul play.

When the matter came up at the plenary on Tuesday, Beni Lar, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker representing  Langtang North and South Constituency of Plateau state, argued against the compulsory inclusion of religious education in the revised curriculum.

In its order paper posted on its official Twitter handle, the House noted “that under the previous Secondary School Curriculum which brought a lot of discontentment, Civic Education was not a compulsory subject and Religious Education was taught as Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK) and Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK), both of which were optional subjects;

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“that the Federal Ministry of Education introduced a revised curriculum without due consultation with parents and stakeholders and the new nine-year Basic Education Curriculum on Religion and National Values consolidated Religious Education and Civic Education under National Values and made Civic Education a compulsory subject for Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations;

“that the curriculum for Primary 1 to 3, which is the formative stage of a child, does not provide for adequate teaching of the religious beliefs of the people but rather destructive half-truths which destroy the fundamentals of the religious beliefs and erode the essence of such religion being taught the children.”

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It expressed concerns “that the new curriculum, which is in conflict with certain religious beliefs, also makes the teaching of those beliefs compulsory”.

It recalled that Section 10 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 makes Nigeria a secular state, and therefore religion should be separated from national values

Adopting a motion on the matter, the House resolved to “call on the Ministry of Education to remove the religious component from civic education as a subject”.

After Samson Ayokunle, President of CAN, claimed that CRS will no longer exist as a subject on its own while Islamic/Arabic Studies and French had been introduced, ICIR published a fact-check that revealed tat he was wrong, as CRS and IRS had only been merged together as part of Civic Education.

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