Lawmakers of the House of Representatives have jettisoned the Federal Government’s new plan to subsume Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) in Civic Education as a compulsory subject in the Secondary School curriculum.
The decision, which was reached on Tuesday via a unanimous voice vote, seeks to retain CRK as an independent subject.
The decision came on the back of a motion filed by Hon. Beni Lar, Plateau state, titled “Call to make Civic Education an optional instead of a compulsory subject for Senior Certificate Examination.”
The legislators of the lower chamber of the National Assembly, after an exhaustive debate on the motion, agreed that the policy was incongruent with the spirit and letters of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) on the provision of religious liberties.
The also agreed that Islamic Studies should be treated independently.
The House also agreed that students with the inputs of their parents at formative years should be taught the religious subjects of their choice in school.
In the wake of the development that stirred debate and outrage among several Nigerians, last month, Prof. Ismail Junaidu, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) had maintained that CRK has not been removed.
He had said: “The Management of NERDC hereby reiterates categorically and unequivocally to all Nigerians that the subject offerings (Civic Education, Social Studies, Christian Religious Knowledge, Islamic Studies and Security Education) under the Religion and National Values Curriculum are distinct.
“The subjects are as listed and taught separately on the timetable.
“In this Curriculum, no child should be coerced or compelled to learn or be taught in school any religious studies subject but only one (out of the two) that restrictively relates to the belief system professed by the child and his/her parents.”