Why We Added Arabic Language to the New Curriculum

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New Curriculum

Adamu Adamu, Nigeria’s Minister of Education. Photo credit: Guardian Newspapers

As a validation of my previous post on the new curriculum controversy, the Minister of Education, Prof. Adamu Adamu has rightly debunked the rumor of the removal of CRS from the new curriculum for secondary school in Nigeria.

I had earlier refuted the misleading information and put things in the right perspective from an impassionate findings. And the helms man of education system added the fact that, the new curriculum was approved by the National Education Council (NEC) which includes governors of all 36 states of the federation.

However, the Minister failed to address the concern I expressed as the only aberration, that is the inclusion of Arabic Language in the new curriculum. Candidly, Arabic language is not the same as Islamic Religious Studies. As a subject it is meant to be a study of the language and its communication. But a deeper review of its syllabus reveals an element, "Poetry and Prose in the Islamic Period" under which sermons of the Prophet (P.B.U.H) and clerics in the Islamic faith are topics. This is where adherents of other religions, mainly Christians have cause to express their displeasure.

While we were given the justification for adding French language to the new curriculum, which are –

  • Nigeria’s second Official Language,
  • Nigeria is surrounded by Francophone countries,
  • The study of French will make our children more competitive at the global level;

silence about the addition of Arabic (though its the only optional subject) is deafening. A much needed information from the country’s education boss would be the reason(s) why the controversial subject was included.

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If my opinion is appropriate, that there might exist, tenable justification for the inclusion, then removing those specs of controversial topics from the subject should not hurt anyone. In buttressing that, teachers of Arabic language mustn’t be only Muslims, because the secular nature of the subject would be made clear to all stakeholders.

Making policies for an average sub-Saharan country should follow robust consultations among other things. Sincerity and patriotism should be served on a platter of equity and be seen by all. If the time and energy expended on keeping the country united is diverted to developmental endeavor, much would have been achieved. And this could only be a sustainable reality if policy makers are sincere enough and responsible enough.

Let’s keep the conversation going!

Related post: The New Curriculum Controversy: Unveiling the Third Perspective and Opportunity to Spread Christianity

People also read: How the Curriculum Controversy Was Half-Resolved


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