Christian parents in Kwara has kicked against the state government’s decision to merge Christian Religion Knowledge (CRK) with any other subject taught in public schools in the state.
Speaking on behalf of the parents on Tuesday in Ilorin, Pastor Philip Hambolu said that the parents vehemently rejected any attempt to merge CRK with Islamic Religion Knowledge (IRK).
Hambolu, who is the chairman, Parents/Teachers Association (PTA) at Saint Anthony College, Junior Secondary School, Ilorin declared that the move was a calculated attempt to Islamise Christian children.
He said the Concerned Parents Forum (CPF) of the PTA was also against non Christian teachers to teach Christian Religion Knowledge.
“A teacher who will teach CRK must be a Christian teacher and the marking must be independent, so that the child does not find himself competing in an unequal platform.
“We have cases of many government schools whereby teachers who are not Christians are teaching Christian Religion Knowledge, this is not acceptable and should be corrected henceforth,” the PTA chairman added.
The pastor said the subjects CRK will be merged with are Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRS), Civic and Social Study to be called Security Study.
“Yes, the issue is that there has been an insinuation following the circular that was passed from SUBEB that some class of subjects be taught as single subject or be marked as a single subject.
“The reality in this is that this subject cannot be taught or be graded as a hundred percent single subject, it is not possible, one, you cannot have a child disadvantaged even before he takes the examination,” he said.
According to him, a child can pick up the Bible and read and make a pass in the exam, adding that a child will always replicate what he has been told by a teacher.
Hambolu therefore called for a level playing field for every child to make progress academically. He said both the students and parents of Christian schools in the state vehemently objected to the idea of merging CRK with any subject and taught by non Christian teachers.
“If a child is taught the wrong interpretation of the Bible by anybody who is not of that faith, the child will be in a spiritual dilemma in future. We would not want to start breeding children who are neither spiritually conscious nor well educated. So the Christian parents of the Concerned Parents Forum have said no to this.
“We are prepared to take steps to ensure that our children are properly educated in our Christian values of the Christian schools. Our faith should not be made redundant or reduced in any form. A child education is important to us, we want it done properly,” he said.
Hambolu said that all PTAs have been advised to make sure that they provide separate teachers for CRK in all Christian schools across the state.
Because of the lopsidedness in the ration of CRK and IRK teachers in the schools, the PTA has to raise money to make sure that they have qualified Christian teachers for CRK,” Hambolu added.
“A teacher cannot teach CRK unless he is spiritually involved, like a Historian cannot teach Physics, neither can a Geographer go and teach Latin, it is not possible,” the Pastor said.
According to him, what matter to the parents was that Christian children did not lose touch with their Christian faith, hence the reason to get teachers to teach CRK.
The Pastor added that teaching CRK by a non Christian will have adverse effect on the life of Christian children.
“The child may also become a spiritual deadwood, who neither believes in the Bible nor follows the Bible and its doctrine,” he added.
Hambolu said parents did not want their children to be caught in a quagmire between what he know to be true and what he has been taught in school by a non Christian teacher.
He therefore called on the state government to as a matter of urgency employ enough Christian Religion Knowledge teachers to teach the subject particularly in Christian Schools.
Hambolu said it was unfair to find up to five Islamic Religion Knowledge (IRK) teachers in Christian School and no CRK teacher.