Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
I engaged in an intellectual discussion with a friend on the merging of Islamic Religious Knowledge ~IRK and Christian Religious Knowledge ~CRK into one subject Religion And National Values for the nine ~9-year academic curriculum of primary and junior secondary schools in Nigeria.
My good friend showed me a document circulated by a Christian organisation that frowned at Christian pupils being taught the supremacy of Prophet Muhammad and that Prophet Isa known to Christians as Jesus Christ is not the son of God nor was Jesus crucified.
We both agreed each side ought to be free to teach own Religion.
I reminded him:
1. Primary school students, including Muslims, in Sokoto are taught CRK.
2. Evolution is taught in Biology, in stark contrast to our belief in creation by Allah.
Yet, the student sits examinations on human evolution from apes, without believing in such.
That was to dispel his concerns about what his children will be made to believe.
“No one can change what is in one’s head”, I stressed.
3. Igbo, Hausa, or Yoruba is compulsory, yet ethnic minorities complain.
Moreover, using Sokoto as a case study, just about everyone, including minorities, communicates in Hausa language.
However, the moment there is legislation on Hausa as a compulsory course of study, there will be an uproar from the very same who can not live without using Hausa as a lingua franca.
I recalled registering for Igbo language to fulfil my requirements for the Senior Secondary School Certificate of the West African Examination Council ~WAEC.
Nevertheless, I did not sit the paper nor did I intend to do so.
And yes, I am Igbo.
Therefore, if Arabic language is made compulsory, for any benefit, so have other languages – Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba – been in that category without inciting national outcry.
Until the discourse, I had little interest in the controversy and no opinion on the issue, as there was conflicting information in the media on the topic.
Thereafter, I embarked on some research to fully grasp the circumstances.
First, I searched for a downloadable Portable Document Format ~PDF of the current Religion And National Values curriculum.
That was not readily available.
In the absence of that, I browsed the website of the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council ~NERDC, the body in charge of the curriculum.
Religion And National Values
i. Listed components will serve as themes in the Religion and National Values Curriculum
ii. Contents are planned for all children to take Social Studies, Civic Education and Security Education themes
iii. Separate classes should be run for CRS theme and IS theme
iv. Consumer Education, Disaster Risk Reduction Education and Peace and Conflict Resolution curricula are infused into the Civic Education, Social Studies and Security Education Themes.
v. Create enabling environment for the subject in all schools.
Arabic Language i. Optional.
Moments later when the power supply was resumed, I sat on my friend’s personal computer ~PC and opened the NERDC curriculum page for him to see with his own two eyes.
He had no further protest.
Long live the Federal Republic Of Nigeria.