House of reps asks ministry of education to separate IRS from CRS
The house of representatives has asked the ministry of education not to group subjects like Christian religious studies (CRS) and Islamic religious studies (IRS) under civic education.In the revised universal basic education curriculum implemented by the Nigerian educational research and development council (NERDC), both subjects were grouped under civic education.
At plenary on Tuesday, Beni Lar, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker from Plateau state, opposed the compulsory inclusion of religious education in the revised curriculum.
Lar charged his colleagues to look into the issue which has sparked controversy in the country.
After a debate, the lower legislative chamber adopted the motion to ask the ministry of education not to merge the subjects.
“The house; notes 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 and Christian religious knowledge, both of which were optional subjects,” the order paper of the house read.
“Also notes 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 religious and national values consolidated religious education and civic education under national values and made civic education a compulsory subject for senior secondary certificate examinations.
“Concerned that the new curriculum which is in conflict with certain religious beliefs also makes the teachings of those beliefs compulsory. 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.”
The NERDC had launched the revised basic education curriculum in 2014, eliciting reactions from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and various quarters about the structure of the curriculum.
The curriculum had grouped subjects having religious components with civic education and called it religious and national values.
The NERDC had also included Islamic language in the curriculum as an optional subject.