FACT CHECK: No ‘satanic’ topic like ‘Is Jesus the Son of God’ in new curriculum, as claimed by CAN

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Roughly one month ago, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said one of the reasons the revised curriculum of primary and secondary schools cannot stand is that it contains satanic topics, such as ‘Is Jesus the son of God?’

While condemning the new curriculum, developed by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) and already in effect since January 2015, Samson Ayokunle, President of CAN, had said: “If the new curriculum is treating the two religious subjects separately as being claimed, why do we have a satanic topic in the Civic Education like ‘IS JESUS THE SON OF GOD?’”

He described the merging of CRS and IRS as themes under one umbrella topic of ‘Religious and National Values (RNV) as an “obnoxious, divisive and ungodly time bomb”.

This was just one of numerous statements by leaders of the two leading religious groups on the alleged “merging” of Christian Religious Studies (CRS) and Islamic Religious Studies (IRS) in the curriculum.

However, the ICIR has obtained the RNV syllabus from one of the secondary schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and after carefully studying it, it could not find any trace of such topic.

It was also discovered that students are not compelled to offer both CRS and IRS, as claimed by both Christian and Islamic leaders.

RELIGIOUS AND NATIONAL VALUES

bible quran

RNV is made up of the following: CRS/IRS, Social Studies, Civic Education and Security Education.

According to the curriculum, the aims and objectives of the subject are, among others, to: “inculcate the spiritual, moral, social, political and intellectual role of Muslims.

“Assess the students’ acquisition of knowledge in practical application of Islamic teachings in daily life.

“Inculcate in the students satisfactory intellectual capacity to benefit constructively from post-basic education in Christian Religious Studies

“Foster progressive and continuous development of Christ-like character.

And “develop Nigerian Youths into responsible citizens”.

The subject consists of Papers 1 and 2; Paper 1 being CRS or IRS.

An instruction on the paper read: “Candidates who registered for CRS should answer questions on CRS only while candidates who registered for IRS should answer questions on IRS only”.

Both CRS and IRS have a total of 60 marks and they are divided thus:

CRS: Old Testament 30, New Testament 30 = 60

IRS: Qur’an 15; Hadith 15, Fiqh 10, Tarikh 10, Tawheed 5, Tadhib 5 = 60

Paper 2 is made up of Social Studies, Civic Education and Security Education. It also has a total of 60 marks divided thus: Social Studies – 30, Civic Education -20 and Security Education – 10 = 60.

CRS TOPICS

Topics under CRS are distributed thus:

1 Creation Story
2 Marriage
3 Disobedience
4 Call to Repentance
5 Call to Obedience
6 Call to Service
7 Relationship in the family
8 Relationship in School
9 Relationship in the Church and community
10 The Birth of Jesus
11 Jesus and His Family
12 The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus
13 Call of the Disciples
14 Sermon on the Mount
15 Some Parables of Jesus
16 The Passion of Christ
17 The Death and Burial of Jesus Christ
18 The Resurrection and Appearance of Jesus
19 The Promise of the Holy Spirit
20 Fellowship in the Early Church
21 Persecution of the Early Believers
22 The Ministry of Peter
23 The Ministry if Apostle Paul
24 Paul’s first Missionary Journey
25 Unity Among Christians
26 Christian living

Each topic has different contents but the question: “Is Jesus the Son of God?” did not feature anywhere in the curriculum.

IRS TOPICS

Topics under IRS are distributed thus:

1 Sura Al-Naba’i
2 Sura Al-Naba’I (Meaning)
3 Meaning of Hadith
4 The Collection of Hadith
5 The Pillars of Islam
6 Attributes of Allah
7 Taharah (Purification and its kinds)
8 Performance of al-Wudu
9 Al Tayammum (Sand ablution)
10 Bief History of Birth of the Prophet (SAW)
11 The Prophet (SAW): His youthood and marriage to Khadijah
12 Relationship between Muslim and non-Muslim
13 Surah Al-Jinn (Reading)

There are also contents under each topic.

RECOMMENDED TEXT BOOKS

CRS

Again, contrary to claims by some people that CRS and IRS are combined in the same RNV textbook, the syllabus, as seen by the ICIR clearly recommended separate textbooks by different publishers for CRS .

There was no column for recommended text books for IRS.

ANYTHING WRONG WITH THIS SYLLABUS

House or Reps

Going by the issues that gave rise to the development of a new curriculum in the first place, such as reducing the number of subjects offered by students, and also given the enormous research that went into the development of the new curriculum, one may agree that the introduction of RNV is a good development.

Leaders of the two major religions in the country have all called for the unbundling of the CRS and IRS under one parent subject called RNV. They want the subjects returned as distinct and separate courses, just the way they had been over the years.

On July 11, the House of Representatives gave them their wish, passing a resolution directing the Ministry of Education to revert to status quo and remove both CRS and IRS from the RNV.

“The new curriculum is in conflict with certain provisions of the Nigerian constitution,” it said.

“Section 10 of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, 1999 makes Nigeria a secular state and therefore religion should be separated from national values.”

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