‘When the music changes, so does the dance’ This is an adage that serves as a reminder of importance of awareness to the changing world.
There is a lot of assumptions made on behalf of Nigerians, most of which were not true representation of what Nigerians stand for or genuinely believed.
For about two weeks now, there has been discussions about secondary school curriculum and how Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) has been deliberately merged with Religious and National Values by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) while Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK) still maintains its status as a stand alone subject.
Regardless of the purpose of the proposed amendment in the curriculum, any conversation around religion always get attention of Nigerians.
The news going around was that the changes was meant to islamise Nigeria – I still do not understand how this could possibly be believable in Nigeria.
Why is all the fuss? What is wrong with replacing CRK/IRK with Religions and National Values?
Nigeria top pentecostal pastors were not left behind, they reiterate how important it is that we keep CRK in the curriculum and of course they jazzed up their message to make people think that is all that we needed to lead a happy/fulfilled life.
I have nothing to say about these pastors drumming on this non issue – all of the three big names mentioned grew up in a Nigeria when we had fewer churches on our streets. Now, with more churches, more religious preachings, people are fed with false hope, distractions from reality on the streets with promises of wealth and eternal home as if there will be a separate heaven for Nigerians and they are the gatekeepers.
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has this to say:
“it would lead us to a godless nation with violence and all forms of ungodliness as the order of the day” – the statement was credited to CAN president, Rev Samson Ayokunle.
Thinking on the CAN president’s statement – which part of Nigeria is ‘godfull’ today? Funny people – Nigeria is so ‘godfull’ that northern Nigeria had to leave CAN to form a separate body last year citing corruption in the top office as their reason for leaving to create their own more representative group of Northern Nigerian Christian Association (NNCA).
Like all subjects, periodic reviews are important to see how to best get important message across to learners. NERDC were appointed to do specific jobs, we all can see the influence of religion in our society – why must we continue in the same old way and wishing for better times?
In this case, I thought instead of CAN and top religious leaders speaking on behalf of everyone, why not encourage NERDC to do a nationwide or south-wide survey to get figures on what people are thinking about religious studies in secondary school?
Deut 17:6 says “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses…”
I did CRK in the first three year of secondary school, I still have a picture of my teacher in my mind’s eye – if the course was not compulsory, I would not have sat in that class.
Everything I remember about bible teachings today are from home and involvement in church activities. It is parents’ responsibility to teach their children religion of choice.
A few people I spoke with on the subject agree that Nigerian students likely to benefit more from religious studies being merged with national values, might even awaken people to the reality on ground as opposed to outward proclamation of religiosity that leaves many reciting verses that bear no resemblance to the life on the streets.
If I had to raise my children in Nigeria today, I’d rather get them to study Religious and National Values where they are exposed to a religion of their choice as well as how that fits into today’s Nigeria realities.
The outcry was to get people thinking Nigeria is about Them Vs Us however, in reality southern Nigeria education is heading towards downward spiral with too much emphasis on religion and far less on other very important subjects that get people employed for today’s world.
School is meant to open minds to all possibilities not to further create needless division/isolation.
We are at a different time, we need to get comfortable to dance to the rhythms of today.