The Federal Government has directed the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to separate the Christian Religious Knowledge and Islamic Religious Knowledge subjects in the basic education curriculum.
The grouping of IRK and CRK under the Civil Education in the new curriculum by the NERDC had generated controversy in the last few months with religious leaders calling for separate teaching.
Minister of Education Adamu Adamu gave the directive at a meeting with education stakeholders from six geo-political zones and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Abuja yesterday.
The meeting, which was attended by Commissioners for Education from states was part of the ongoing efforts to strengthen the partnership within the three tiers of government in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 4 (SDG4).
Adamu, who was represented by Minister of State for Education, Anthony Anwukah, said the directive to separate the subjects became necessary because of the complaints by Nigerians, especially the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), that has been vociferous about the issue.
He explained that the collapse of the two subjects was done by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to reduce the number of subjects offered by pupils and students in schools.
The minister 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,”
Adamu reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to revamping the education sector and appealed to state governments as well as relevant stakeholders to support the effort.