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Curriculum: CAN slams Nigerian govt for compulsory Islamic education, delisting of Christian studies

Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN
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Babatunde Opalana

‘The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has protested to the Presidency for making compulsory the Islamic Religious Studies d in secondary school curriculum while delisting the existing Christian Religious Knowledge as a subject.

This was made known in a statement on Friday credited to the President of CAN, Rev. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle after its meeting with the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.


Ayokunle said that the inclusion of Islamic Arabic Studies into secondary school curriculum without providing for Christian Religious Knowledge is an attempt to islamise the country, stressing that such a dangerous situation is a time bomb which must immediately be diffused.


The cleric, who regretted the removal of religious studies from secondary school curriculum, described the move as obnoxious, divisive and ungodly. “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.” he said


He said the first attempt to introduce it had been suspended following CAN’s protest but had now been brought back noting that a state had already started its implementation adding that it was “an ill-wind that blows nobody any good for so many reasons.


He added that 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, adding that Islamic studies had however been made a compulsory alternative subject to French for students in sections of the curriculum.


CAN argue that since French teachers were scarce in the country as against a glut of Islamic teachers, Christian students would be forced to take Islamic Arabic Studies.


The association stated: “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 per cent 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 Arabic 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?


He cited an example of 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.


For all religious adherents and ethnic tribes to co-exist as a nation, he said, “there must be fair play, 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.”



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