The Federal Government has ordered the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council to make the Christian Religious Knowledge and Islamic Religious Knowledge distinctive subjects in the basic education curriculum.
The two subjects, which were subsumed under the Civil Education in the current curriculum by the Council had been a subject of controversy in the last few months.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, gave the directive for the separation of the subjects in Abuja, at the meeting of Ministers of Education with education stakeholders from six geo-political zones and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The meeting attended by the Commissioners for Education from various States of the Federation was part of the ongoing efforts to strengthen the partnership within the three tiers of government in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 4 (SDG4).
The minister noted that Nigeria has selected the Goal 4 of the SDGs, which emphasises inclusive and quality education for all and promotion of lifelong learning, for implementation in view of the importance of education as a fulcrum to national development.
Adamu, who spoke through the Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwukah, said the directive to separate the subjects becomes imperative in view of the various complaints by Nigerians, especially the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) that has been vociferous about the issue.
He noted that the collapsing of the subjects was not done by the current administration as it was an effort by the last administration of President Goodluck Jonathan to reduce the number of subjects offered by pupils and students in schools.
He said: “There is this controversy over the merger of CRK and IRK in the school curriculum. There were complaints by parents that children were overloaded with so many subjects and the recommendation then was to merge one or two subjects. Unfortunately, water and oil were merged together and it is not working.
“So, to save ourselves the agony, the two subjects should be separated. We push that to the NERDC,”he said.
Adamu, in his keynote address at the occasion, reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to revamping the education sector and appealed to the State Governments as well as relevant stakeholders to support the Federal Government effort.
He also expressed the commitment of the Nigerian government towards achieving the SDG4 by 2030 in line with the global timeline.
He noted that the Federal was aware that in the journey towards achieving the Education 2030 Agenda, key issues including the phenomenon of out-of-school children, insecurity in and around the schools and infrastructure decay must be addressed.
The minister said there was also the need to have credible and reliable data, and how to address the challenge of poor teacher quality as well as teacher gaps, low carrying capacity in tertiary institutions, and poor learning outcomes.
He said: “We recognise that the task of revamping the education sector is challenging, the ministry of education cannot do it alone. Our task is to coordinate national efforts to meet our national goals and objectives.
“It is our believe that with good planning, appropriate investment of resources, transparency, due process, effective collaboration and coordination of inputs and activities of government and that of all stakeholders, we will realise our vision of providing quality education to build and sustain adequate human capital for national development,” he said.