By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
Presiding Bishop of Sword of the Spirit Ministries, Dr. Francis Wale Oke has warned the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council,(NERDC) to forget about its planned revised basic education curriculum of merging Christian Religious Studies and Islamic Religious Studies with other subjects.
Bishop Oke who handed down the warning in Ibadan while speaking on the controversy surrounding the planned merger said NERDC should not “over-heat” the nation’s polity” with the policy.
“The move to merge the subjects should be dropped immediately. The polity is already over-charged. There is no need to over-heat it. They are separate religions and they don’t mix. Let the sleeping dog lie. Already, we have enough challenges, we have the religion/preaching bill in Kaduna State and the Boko Haram insurgency which is linked to religion. NERDC should not create problems,” he said.
The Clergyman added that “today, we have educated crooks all over the place that are looting the treasury. This is not the time to weaken religious and moral studies but the time to strengthen it”.
Bishop Oke maintained that the planned school curriculum by NERDC was “suspect” going by the wide speculation that the current administration had an Islamic agenda” and that “we shouldn’t be doing anything to strengthen that speculation”.
“The merger of Christian Religious Studies, Islamic Religious Studies with Civic Education, Social Studies and Security Education is very curious and suspect of a hidden agenda. The argument of the Executive Secretary of NERDC, Prof. Ismail Junaid, for the policy was puerile and not convincing”.
He disclosed that “religion cuts across the lives of most Nigerians and it has been a volatile subject. The best thing is to leave it as it is,”saying, “if the curriculum is going to be reviewed at all they (NERDC) should leave the subjects separate not merged. And then they should set up a body comprising stakeholders of the two religions to do their curriculum reviews by themselves and send it to NERDC”.
Bishop Oke declared that there was no basis for “government to “force any curriculum down the throat of the people,” saying, “I am saying this as a Nigerian, as a clergyman and as a parent. It is not right at all to enforce it. In Christianity and Islamic religions in Nigeria today we have educated people that can sit down to develop a new curriculum”.
Don’t merge Christian and Islamic Religious Studies with other subjects -Bishop Oke
By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.