The Federal Government on Thursday directed the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to separate the Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) and Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK) subjects in the basic education curriculum.
Recall, the grouping of IRK and CRK under the Civic Education in the new curriculum by the NERDC had generated controversy recently with religious leaders, especially the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) calling for their separate teaching.
However, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, gave this directive yesterday in Abuja, during his meeting with stakeholders from the six geo-political zones and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The meeting, which was also attended by the commissioners for education in the 36 states, focused on the strengthening of partnership in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Speaking on his behalf, the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, quoted Adamu as saying that the directive to separate the subjects became imperative in view of the various complaints by Nigerians, especially the Christian Association of Nigeria.
The minister added that the joining of the subjects was not done by the current administration, as it was an effort by the then President Goodluck Jonathan government to reduce the number of subjects taken by pupils in schools.
His words: “There is this controversy over the merger of CRK and IRK in the curriculum. There were complaints by parents earlier 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.”