CAN Commends FG on the Reinstatement of Christian Religious Studies and Islamic Studies as Separate Subjects

    The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is using this medium to register our sincere and deep appreciation to the Federal Government for reversing the controversial, unlawful, and ungodly merger of the Christian Religious Studies and the Islamic Religious Studies as a subject by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC).

  • The first escaped Chibok schoolgirls to successfully attend and complete an American High School graduated last night in the United States Capital. The two girls known simply by their first names Debbie and Grace graduated after completing junior year (11th grade) and senior year (12 grade) at a prestigious private international school in the Washington metro area in America.

  • The federal government has finally re-introduced History as one of the subjects in the nation’s primary and secondary schools’ curriculum, explaining that its introduction as an independent subject and not a mere theme was necessitated by the clamour and concerns by several groups, including the Presidency, National Assembly and other critical stakeholders in the education sector.

    The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu had urged delegates to the recent National Council of Education, NCE, to consider the disarticulation of social studies in the current curriculum and re-introduction of History as a subject, adding that leaders in the education sector committed “a mistake” by removing History.

  • The Federal Government on Thursday bowed to pressure and directed the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to separate the Christian Religious Knowledge and Islamic Religious Knowledge subjects in the basic education curriculum.

    The grouping of IRK and CRK under the Civil Education in the new curriculum by the NERDC had generated controversy in the last few months with religious leaders calling for their separate teaching.

  • Many have been allegedly killed, while students of students of College of Education, Gidan Waya in Jema’a local government area of Kaduna State fled in numbers, following renewed attacks launched against the people of Southern Kaduna by suspected Fulani herdsmen on Thursday.

    An eyewitness account said that many of the students, who ran away for their lives into the bush, were yet to be seen by their parents, while some spent nights hiding in the bush.

  • Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has directed that teaching of Islamic Religious Studies (IRS) and Christian Religious Studies (CRS) in secondary schools should be done as separate subjects.

    The instruction, contained in a press statement from the ministry, was aimed at dousing the confusion created by speculation in the social and conventional media that both subjects have been combined.

  • Comments: I have attached some very controversial portions of the curriculum as it relates to religion. It is rather unfortunate that this curriculum was approved by President Goodluck Jonathan's administration who is supposed to be a Christian from the South-South when Prof. Mrs Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa'i was minister of Education. It is more annoying that Chief (Barr) Ezenwo Nyesom Wike was the Honourable Minister of State for Education at the time or approval. Wike is the current Governor of Rivers State, another Christian from the South-South and to worsen matters, the document was signed by Prof Godwill Obioma: a Christian Iboman!!


    The NERDC team was led by the Executive Secretary, Professor Ismail Junaidu in the company of five Directors of the Council including the Director of Book Publishing and Curriculum Development.
    The paper presented was by Prof. Charles Adisa and Prof. Funmi Adesanya-Davies. The Delegation was led by Dr. Sam Itina, National President of the NCGF and other members of the delegation were:


    1. Prof . A  Adisa (NCGF)
    2. Dr. Mrs Ejiro Iwuoha (NCGF)
    3. Pst. Onyenachi Nwaegeruo(NCGF)
    4. Dr. Josiah Kantiyok (NCGF)


    1. Bishop Jude Arogundade (Catholic Church)  (CAN) - (ABSENT)

    2. Prof. Bishop Funmi Adesanya-Davies (Protestant Church) (CAN)

    3. Dr. Mrs. Ofoegbu(Catholic Church) (CAN)
    4. Rev. Fr. Patrick Balogun (Catholic Church) (CAN)


    Following a brief introduction of the NCGF and CAN, obvious lapses in the new curriculum which included the list below were presented:

    1. Inciting/Derogatory statements which attack the foundation of Christianity. For example, that Jesus was not the Son of God, Jesus was not crucified and did not resurrect and the supremacy of Quran over the Holy Bible, supremacy of Muhammad over Jesus Christ, etc.
    2. Textbooks in print that combine Islamic Religious Knowledge and Christian Religious knowledge in a single textbook thus exposing children to other religion which negates the principles of our constitution.
    3. Absence of approved list of textbooks as an appendix in the curriculum/ NERDC website 
    4. Watered down content of the various subjects, as a result, creating an omnibus textbook.
    5. Making religious studies compulsory without the adequate provision of Teachers in those subjects. The implications are that a Christian student in the core north will be forced to take IRK and ditto a Muslim student in the South. In addition, a student that refuses to take the subject as a result of conflict with his/her religion is short changed of marks for that compulsory subject and may have his educational career truncated.
    6. Absence of subjects like History, Geography and Economics in the new curriculum.




    1. That the five (5) subjects: Religious Studies (CRS/IRS), Civic Education, Social Studies and Security are combined under one umbrella in the Curriculum is sacrosanct.   

    2. NERDC asserts that CAN was part and parcel of the stakeholders invited to air her views and input on the development of the New Curriculum. However the NGGF has never been invited and represented and are welcome from now on.

    3. It was acknowledged that the Curriculum on Religion and National Values needs to be reviewed as the Christians and Muslims are of the same viewpoints that the New Curriculum is unacceptable.

    4. Curriculum for Religion and National Value is assuredly for the three Basics (Lower, Middle and Upper) of the BEC 9-year Program.

    i.e 1-3, 4-6, and 7-9. (Thus, there are 3 curriculum booklets)

    5. That the design was that Text books for CRS and IRS are to be separated by Publishers as different Text books but they are written together in the same Curriculum Booklet with Civic Education, Social Studies  and Security.    

    6. That the status of the Subject Religious Studies is Compulsory is sacrosanct and a pupil must offer either but not both.
    7. That NO Publisher's Textbook has been approved by NERDC yet. So ALL BOOKS in the market for now are FAKE and fictitious and should be checkmated immediately.
    8. That CAN could bring professionals to Review  the Content of the said present Curriculum  under assessment -  (I volunteered to do the review

    with Prof. Charles Adisa and it was approved.)

    9. That CAN could participate fully in the production and review of yet to

    be accepted /approved Textbooks - I also volunteered.

    10. That they will endeavour to list out the finally approved books right

    in the Curriculum and we can make recommendations.

    11. The Executive Secretary approved the team as partners in progress from hence.
    12.  All participants we well pleased at the end of the discussions.


    • NERDC will be willing to collaborate with groups like the NCGF (based on their educational endowments)                                                                              • Two different teachers manual for IRS and CRS were made to reflect the separation of the two subjects.
    • Religious study is compulsory so as to provide a moral framework for adherence to the teachings of civic education, social studies and security education.
    • He accepted the recommendation of listing the approved books in the appendix of the curriculum as well as on their website
    • NERDC will not be able to exercise oversight function on what the schools are using, rather schools should verify from NERDC, the books that have been approved
    • NERDC is in the process of achieving a regulatory statue like NAFDAC to enable them prosecute publishers that are in deviance of the standard and principles of the curriculum
    • Accepted the need for further public hearing, sensitization and review of the new curriculum.
    • He insisted that it is the responsibility of government at various levels to provide Teachers for the subjects, and where this is not observed, parents should sue the government and demand for the requisite teachers.                                                                                                                 • He explained that they have re-introduced History.




    • Publishers should be supervised so that the textbooks in print are a reflection of the principles and standard of the curriculum.
    • List of recommended textbooks should be incorporated as an appendix in the curriculum. In addition, these lists should be freely available on the NERDC website.                                                                                                                 
    • Curriculum developers should ensure that the content conforms with the curriculum and our constitutional provision.

    • Curriculum developers should be conscious of the religious and cultural sensibility of Nigerians.                                                                                               •Re-introduction of History, geography, economics and accounting back into the curriculum.


    Now that all the cards are on the table, as a minister and a professional  who had lectured and still lectures in a University of Education in the past thirty years, I wish to recommendation  as follows:

    1. ChristianRK Curriculum and IslamicRS should stand alone, as individual subjects on subject listing as it was before.

    2. Civic Education, Social Studies  and Security should be combined under one umbrella in the Curriculum as a subject i.e.                                                (Nigerian  National Value).

    3. ChristianRK Curriculum and IslamiRS should be made compulsory, only for the religion adherent.

    4. NERDC should produce separate curriculum booklets of IRS and CRS as it was before, statuesque ante, as it is done with the Teachers manual.

    5.Christian RK Curriculum must be reviewed immediately with inputs from our old CRK Curriculum in the 3 BEC of the 9-years.

    6. Islamic RK should be reviewed  by editing off all grievously offensive phrases/frivolous expressions about Christianity in the 3 Basics Education Curriculum because the material is in the public domain and we Christians said nothing about Islam which existed 600 AD after the  death of  Christ in our curriculum.

    7. Correction to the Curriculum and the Implementation of the Text Books must conform with the Constitution, National Policy on Education, as well  as the Cultural, Social and Religious  Values  of the Republic

    8. All publishers of the FAKE Books should be written for discussions,  that  the dissemination of the Books must stop immediately. The Church should seek court injunction immediately to enforce this.

    9. We need to work with such and some other publishers to peacefully resolve the issue if they so desire and to ensure that their reviewed books on CRS would be acceptable to us.

    10. NERDC should be advised to always produce separate textbooks for ChristianRK Curriculum and IslamicRS and supervise their publishers to ensure the books are produced separately 


    12. CAN and NCGF should urgently set up a committee to review the content of the present CRS to reflect the true teachings of Christianity as the current curriculum is inferior to the previous curriculum.

    13. It is necessary to adequately mobilize and sensitize the churches to pray about the challenges posed by this curriculum to our faith.


    14. If the recommendations are not acceptable and implemented by NERDC, CAN and NCGF should consider other actions and litigation.


    1. We recommend separation  of the two (2) Curriculum in same booklet for the three (3) Primary Basics:  If they refuse the separation in the  Curriculum as in the  text; just like Christian children, Muslim children would also  have access  to the Christian curriculum  and this could be evangelical  as light is not afraid of darkness.

    2. CRS/IRS OPTIONAL/ COMPULSORY: Making CRS/IRS a Compulsory Subject is advantageous, but it must be separately compulsory as the religion of the pupil, parent or guardian that is Christians must offer CRK and Muslims IRS. We should remember it was also compulsory in the Old Curriculum.

    On behalf of the team, I hereby express our gratitude to CAN for affording us this rare opportunity to serve in our Lord's Vineyard.

    Our God reigns!  Jesus is Lord!! Praise the  Lord!!! Amen.   

    Amb. (Bishop Prof.)  Mercy Funmi Adesanya-Davies

  • Prof. Charles Adisa




    Your Excellency, I wish to express my gratitude (NCGF), and that of the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on behalf of Christians in Nigeria for your quick response to our request for an audience over the fate of Christian Religious Studies (CRS) in the current 9-Year Basic Educational Curriculum. Your prompt reaction shows how much importance you attach to this matter as of urgent National attention. I recall it was a fortnight ago we made this request. Thank you for granting us an audience. In our letter, we did say, we will bring to your notice our observations, worries and fears as well as our position on the vexing issue. 


    First, observations: we observed that Christian Religious Studies which over the years has been an independent Subject of its own was listed as part of an omnibus subject called Religion and National Values with others, such as Islamic religious studies, Social studies, Civic education and Security education. By this lumping together, in-depth study of the subject is lost to necessity of accommodation of other Subjects. Further, we observed that the content of the Curriculum and the textbooks approved by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) deliberately denigrated the person of the founder of the Christian faith. The Islamic religious studies section of the same Curriculum document impudently denied the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is blasphemous - The Cardinal Truth of the Christian faith. This we consider as obnoxious, offensive and provocative. If this was limited to a private religious belief, it is understandable, but making such statements in a national document for all faiths is indeed obnoxious.

    We also observed that the omnibus subject called Religion and National Values is compulsory in National examinations such as JSS 3, SS 3 and NECO. The implication is that a student must offer any of the two religions as part of the overall Subject. In a situation where there is no Subject teacher for any of the two Religious Studies, the Student will compulsorily do the available, not minding whether it conflicts with his or her faith. Finally, we observed that many schools, particularly in the northern part of the country, deliberately refused to employ Christian Religious Studies Teachers, thereby denying the Christian students the right to choose Christian Religious Studies and indirectly forcing them to do Islamic religious studies. This we consider an infringement on their fundamental human rights.


    Now our fears: We consider this Curriculum a means of promoting one religion (Islam) above other religions in a multi-religious nation. We are also worried that there is a deliberate act of indoctrination of Nigerian children through the Curriculum towards Islam. This for us is the most subtle and most dangerous way of executing a jihad. We are worried by the confusion this Curriculum will create in the minds of the minors. For instance, at home, a Christian child is taught that the salvation of his or her soul is through the atoning death of Jesus Christ and His resurrection. Then in school, he or she is faced with a Curriculum and textbooks denying the death and resurrection of Christ, which is a blasphemy. The worst is the portion in the Curriculum that encourages the child to disobey the parents if they oppose his or her recitation of the Koran. When an educational program encourages rebellion in the home, what will be the implications on the society?


    Finally, your Excellency, the positions  of Christians in Nigeria are as listed below:

    1. The Curriculum as it concerns the omnibus subject: Religion and National Values should be scrapped as a Subject. In its place, there should be three distinctive subjects each standing on its own. They are Christian Religious Studies, Islamic Religious Studies and Social Studies, while Civic & Security Education can be combined or be made optional.
    2. Federal Ministry of Education and State Ministries of Education must be made to employ Religous Studies Teachers so that Pupils and Students will have the opportunity to study any religion of their choice in all Public Schools in Nigeria. We note that though education is in the concurrent legislative list, where State can decide what to do since all teachers in Public schools are being paid with tax payers money, the majority of which come from the Federal Allocation, there should be no discrimination on which Religious Teachers to employ and which ones not to. It is also pertinent to note that the Constitution is supreme over any other local considerations. The 1999 Constitution states clearly in Section 38 (1) and article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human right that “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.” In addition, in any situation where there is a conflict between the State and Federal values even in a concurrent list, the doctrine of “covering the field” supervenes which gives the Federal authority the edge in such a dispute.
    3. The Christian faith has suffered monumental damage caused by the publication and circulation of the Curriculum. We consider the Curriculum libelous and demand unreserved apology from the Federal Ministry of Education and Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC).
    4. We demand immediate reinstatement of Christian Religious Studies (CRS)  in the Curriculum of the States' Ministries of Education in the States that have delisted it from their school Curriculum, particularly, Kwara and Niger states, and most states in the North.

    l would like to bring to your notice sir as you may well be aware, several states in the North since the 80's have stopped employing CRS Teachers in their public schools, some even went to the extent of coercing and flogging Christian children who refuse to do Islamic Studies. A very recent example came from your very home state, Kwara.

    1. We demand that Christian Association of Nigeria be allowed to provide Christian Religious Studies Teachers in each of the states that claim they are unable to source and recruit Christian Religious Teachers. In fact in Niger State, Christian Association of Nigeria in the past decade had had a running battle with successive state governments over the employment of CRS Teachers in Public Schools. At a point, CAN volunteered to pay the salaries of the CRS Teachers, which was declined by the state authorities.
    2. We demand that the Curriculum be Redesigned to reflect true Christian values for our children, not humanistic social/ moral instructions, but that which teaches them to love, respect and reverence the God of their fathers JEHOVAH Elohim, who sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins, whose resurrection gives us passport to Heaven.
    3. Genuine respect for our Constitution which in section 38 (1) guarantees freedom of worship and right to choose what, when and how to worship as well as Article 18 of Universal Declaration of human rights.
    4. Abolition of obnoxious laws that infringe on freedom of worship, like the one recently promulgated by the Kaduna State Government.
    5. The involvement of all stakeholders in the review of the Curriculum such as CAN, Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship (of which I am the National President and have played key roles in advocacy over this and similar issues), PTA's of Schools and Private schools proprietors. NERDC should not at their whims and caprices hand-pick those to participate in the review.
    6. There should be a program of continuous education and reorientation of end users as part of the Curriculum implementation.
    7. Offensive items in the Curriculum that are blasphemous should be expunged as a step to restoration of mutual respect.
    8. Morally degrading items should be removed from the Textbooks for use.
    9. NERDC should be empowered to penalise erring publishers and State Ministries of Education that violate the rules and not be a toothless bull dog.
    10. NERDC should make an available list of recommended Textbooks in the Curriculum to the public.
    11. There should be a restoration of key subjects like History, Geography in our basic education Curriculum.
    12. The government should not in practice nor be seen to interfere or promote one religion to the exclusion of others by sponsoring only a particular group or allocate State resources to it.
    13. There should be prosecution and arrest of all agents of hatred and murder of Christians in Nigeria: Two recent examples were that of Mrs Eunice Olawale, a member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, who was killed in Kubwa, Abuja last year and that of a 74-year-old Bridget Agbaime of Imo State killed in cold blood in Kano last year. It is trite to remind your Excellency Sir,  that the Villains were exonerated for no genuine reasons at all.

    Let me add that in listing all these demands, we consulted widely with all Christian groups, associations and affiliations both in Nigeria and the diaspora, and all these points represent the opinions and positions of the vast majority of Nigerian Christians.

    1. We demand for the arrest, prosecution and stoppage of kidnapping of under aged Christian girls and forceful marriage of such in the Northern part of Nigeria.
    2. The school uniform is part and parcel of the curriculum, we therefore demand for security reasons, an end to wearing of Hijab in Christian Schools in Nigeria as seen and legislated in Osun State. 
    3. Another issue which we will like to draw your attention to, is the Draft Document by the NUC (Nigeria University Commission) in which Arabic studies is now considered as a Compulsory/Elective subject in the Management Courses like Economics, Accounting, Banking / Finance and Actuarial Science  as well as Arabic studies as a Generation Studies (GS ) course our the universities curriculum. This is a rude shock to us, absolutely incredible and as such unacceptable sir.

    Finally, may I assure you of the high regards of Nigerian Christians as we believe you will take steps to ensure the National Assembly will take legislative steps to redress the issues raised, and  possibly call for a public hearing on these vexing issues that seem to undermine our unity and diversity as a nation.

    God bless your Excellency

    God bless the Federal Republic of  Nigeria

    God bless the Church.

    For and on behalf of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN),

    Prof. Charles Adeyinka Adisa

    National President

    Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship (NCGF) 

    Endorsed by: 

    Coalition of Christian Groups

    1. National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF);
    2. Nigerian Christian Graduate Fellowship (NCGF);
    3. Think Tank For The Body Of Christ;
    4. Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON);
    5. Association of Christian Schools in Nigeria (ACSIN);
    6. Students Christian Movement (SCM);
    7. Christian Professionals Forum (CPF);
    8. Ministers Prayer Network (MPN);
    9. International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ);
    10. Nigeria Evangelical Missions Association (NEMA);
    11. International Prophetic Ministerial Association (IPMA) (Inc. Worldwide College of Bishops & Ministers, Africa, UK & USA);
    12. Intercessors Without Walls (IWW);
    13. Wailing Women International (WWI);
    14. Full Gospel Businessmen Fellowship;
    15. Nigerian Fellowship of Christian Students (NIFES);
    16. University Joint Campus Christian Fellowship (UJCM);
    17. Nigerian Christian Corpers Fellowship (NCCF);
    18. Nigeria Supreme Council For Ecclesiastical Affairs (NSCEA);
    19. African Association for Ecclesiastical Affairs (AAEA),
    20. The Preacher (TP),
    21. The Messenger,
    22. Womb of Intercession International Fellowship (WIIF)
    23. International Foundation for Christian Unity (IFCU)

    20th July, 2017

  • ...demands details of new education curriculum 

    ...says it should be suspended 

    ...warns against merging of CRS, IRS & Civic Education 

    ...says Adamu is not telling the whole truth.

    The Christian Association Nigeria (CAN) has called on the Federal Ministry of Education and the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to publish the full details of the controversial new Curriculum of Education if they have no hidden agenda. 

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