This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Monday, April 18, 2016
FG SHOULD LEAVE RELIGIOUS STUDIES INTACT
19th April, 2016,
FG SHOULD LEAVE RELIGIOUS STUDIES INTACT
There are indications that the Federal
Government (FG) is planning to collapse Bible Knowledge (BK), Islamic Religious
Knowledge (IRK) and Civil Education into a single subject.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) warns the
FG to leave both BK and IRK alone as separate subjects. The plan to marry them
into a single subject with Civil Education is an ill wind that will blow no one
Such a plan can only be
the handiwork of confusionists and apostles of the misleading concept of
secularism. The Federal Ministry of Education should therefore look before it
leaps. It will be a disaster of monumental proportion to merge those subjects.
There is also a legal angle
to the planned move. It contravenes both the letter and spirit of Section 38
(ii) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which
stipulates religious instruction in own religion in schools.
The sub-section states inter alia, “No person attending any
place of education shall be required to receive religious instruction …if such
instruction …relates to a religion other than his own, or a religion not
approved by his parent or guardian.”
We are therefore constrained
to put it to the Federal Ministry of Education that its purported plan to merge
BK, IRK and Civil Education into one subject is illegal, unlawful and
unconstitutional. The plan should therefore be put in abeyance.
Authors of this sinister
plan should tell us how any subject teacher can effectively handle BK, IRK and
Civil Education together all at once and in a single class? What educational
qualification would such a teacher have attained and from which university? This
plan can only succeed in confusing our young ones.
Our policy makers love to
build castles in the air. They also love to entangle the citizenry in the abyss
of complicated conceptualization. Why not make things as simple as possible for
everybody to understand? Why are we always changing from one policy to another like
a camellion? We have lost count of the number of times the Federal Ministry of Education
has changed the curriculum.
Yet such changes have not
improved the levels of delivery, perspicacity and performance. A standard six
certificate holder of the 50s is better than a university graduate of today.
Some graduates cannot form simple sentences and you need to keep stress-relieving
drugs by your side if you have to read materials authored by new ‘Jambites’.
By the way, what is the
rationale behind the plan to merge BK, IRK and Civil Education at a time when
moral standards are falling everywhere in the world? Why must we play ‘super
bureaucrats’ with religious subjects when FG is waging a war against
From where will the
citizens draw their spiritual strength if we have already destroyed the
foundation of the citizens’ individual religions. Every religion has its
special appeal and that appeal resides in its peculiarity. There will be
nothing special left after a merger. Nothing. This proposed merger will be the
last nail in the coffin of morality.
The current rush for
science and technology must be pursued with caution. While we admit that both
science and technology are crucial to human development, we call attention to
the dangers inherent in full concentration on material development at the
expense of balanced spiritual growth. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are bitter memoirs
of misuse of technology. The 9/11 attack, the wars around the globe and the
attendant humanitarian disaster are eloquent testimonies of the abuse of
Both science and
technology need some form of control and mankind can only find the effective
control in religion. Science without religion is a wild, ferocious dog. It has
the propensity to bite indiscriminately, including its own master.
It is true that we need
science and technology, but the moral subjects are necessary as bulwark against
misuse of scientific discoveries. Ditto for the rush to read accounting,
banking and finance, law, etc. Why are huge sums of money always missing
despite the existence of hundreds of accountants and auditors? Even self-confessed
armed robbers escape justice if they have access to clever lawyers.
In conclusion, we advise the
Federal Ministry of Education to put on hold its plan to collapse BK, IRK and
Civil Education into one subject. If the FG educates Nigerians without a
special place for religion, it will only succeed in producing clever devils.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)