By John Iwori
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the South South region has kicked against moves by the Federal Ministry of Education to put a new curriculum in place for post primary schools in the country.
Chairman of CAN, South South Zone, Archbishop Goddowell Avwomakpa in a statement at the weekend decried the recent move by the Federal Ministry of Education through the Nigerian Educational Research Development Council (NERDC) to merge Christian Religious Studies (CRK) with Islamic Studies, Civic Education, Social Studies and a newly introduced subject called National Security Education into one compulsory subject.
Avwomakpa in the statement which was signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Ovie Edomi decried the decision of the ministry.
He argued that the new curriculum was a subtle way by a religious group to indoctrinate children with Islamic beliefs and strange religious tenets which Christians do not subscribe to.
According to him, the development was â€œanother strategic systemic but wicked attempt to attack the foundation of the Christian faith. Besides it is an infringement on the human rights of Christian children for them to be forced to memorise and recite the Qur’an/Arabic language under any guise in a secular societyâ€.
Avwomakpa who is equally the Chairman of the Niger Delta forum noted that to bring five critical subjects into one compulsory subject for a nine years child negated human rights provisions.
The cleric maintained that the move was also a violation of the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Child Right Act of 2003.
He argued that in the civilised world, curriculum development was ordinarily meant to holistically enrich curriculum quality by taking into consideration new innovations and emerging issues that need to be fused into the subject in question and not to use the curriculum to change the philosophy or ideology of the child to becoming terror to the society.
The CAN Chairman, South-south Zone wondered why five subjects should be merged into one compulsory subject and asked which teacher would teach the five subjects competently and efficiently.
He stated that the plan was an attempt to sacrifice excellence at the altar of mediocrity and religious integration,
The clergy man averred that the plan would cause more problems in Nigeria than Boko Haram, agitation for self-actualisation and militancy had already caused the country. Avwomakpa called on the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbanjo and the National Assembly to quickly intervene by directing the Minister of Education to suspend the new curriculum.
He also hinged his called on Osinbajo and the National Assembly on the fact that there was no public hearing held before the decision to force children to learn what they do not believe in.
His words: â€œChristian beliefs and that of Islam differ. There is no way that you can bring two parallel line together not when the foundation of the Christian faith is threatened by the curriculum which is meant to promote Islam and gradually indoctrinate our children with Islamic and jihadist ideological way of thinking. This is a development that portends great danger for the nation if care is not taken. That is why I am sounding this note of warning before it is too lateâ€.