How the Curriculum Controversy Was Half-Resolved

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Curriculum Controversy
1. Prof Yemi Osibajo, 2. Sen. Bukola Saraki, 3. Prof Adamu Adamu, 4. CAN President – Rev Samson Ayokunle.

Authority in the education sector of Nigeria has finally bowed to the pressure mounted upon them about the controversial Basic School curriculum. Recall that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) had swiftly protested to the acting president, Prof Yemi Osibajo, where their displeasure about the purported removal of Christian Religious Studies (CRS) was registered. CAN also petitioned the Senate, requesting to have an audience with its leadership. Meeting was held with Senate leadership, where CAN’s contingent in a well articulated speech presented their concern and fear in what they called an issue of National importance.

Besides that, there were pockets of criticism by influential leaders within Nigeria’s Christian community, everyone called for reversal to status quo as regards the subjects of CRS and IRS in Basic School curriculum. In the end, the curriculum controversy seems to have been laid to rest. This is as a result of the directive by the Federal Government for the Nigerian Educational Research an Development (NERDC) to reinstate CRS and IRS as separate subjects.

CAN president, Rev Samson Ayokunle has commended FGN on the policy reversal. He mentioned that the merger of the two subjects had been done without due consultation with all stakeholders and it had been resisted since the last dispensation. He also commended the government for been responsive.

Why we think the curriculum controversy is only half-resolved

We are already aware of the separation of CRS and IRS as substantive subjects as against their merger among other subjects under Religion and National Values (RVN). But we are yet to know what happens about Arabic language that was included in the curriculum. NERDC should engage all stakeholders and convince them of the reason why it’s not History but Arabic language.

People also read: Why We Added Arabic Language to the New Curriculum

Further to that, we’re yet to know what becomes of the defunct RNV, now that CRS and IRS are out of the mix, remaining Civic Education, Social Studies and Security Education. NERDC should come out with a policy update to clear these grey areas.

Implications of the curriculum reversal

Publishers and authors who have already produced RNV textbooks would be counting their losses now. Consequently, it is believed that stakeholders at this level would be reluctant to venture into another textbook projects until the curriculum policy is conclusively accepted by all. This is why NERDC must be both circumspect and swift, now that schools are in recession. By the time schools resume for a new session in September, all stakeholders should be ready to proceed with good comfort.

People also read: Why We Added Arabic Language to the New Curriculum


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