The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye; The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Bishop Mike Okonkwo; Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo; Deeper Life Church, Pastor WF Kumuyi among others, have ordered Christian students across the country to boycott Arabic Studies amid reports that the subject was made compulsory.
Also present at the meeting were Rev. (Dr.) Mercy Ezekiel, the National Coordinator of Christian Pentecostal Mission (CPM), Pastor Wale Oke and the General Overseer of the Thronegrace Mission, Pastor Emmanuel Nuhu Kure.
They also called for immediate reversal of the revised Basic Education Curriculum, especially the collapse of Christian Religious Studies (CRS) as part of an omnibus subject known as Religion and National Values, and maintained that CRS should stand on its own as a separate subject just as it has always been.
According to Vanguard, they criticised the move to impose Arabic Studies on every secondary school student in the country, stating that the Federal Government has no right to force any Nigerian student at any level to study Arabic Studies.
They said that the proviso in the revised curriculum that every student must take either French or Arabic Studies compulsorily in a country where French teachers are scarce was an attempt to impose Arabic Studies on Christian students.
Articulating the position of the Fellowship, Omobude, who is also the PFN National President, Oyedepo, Okonkwo and Wale Oke urged Christian students in any part of the country to resist such imposition, stressing that “we are aware of orchestrated plans to subtly use this policy as a means of forceful religious indoctrination and we maintain our stand against it.”
“Government has no right to force subjects on any any Nigerian child neither does it have the authority to drop Christian Religious Studies at the Senior Secondary School level while asking him/her to continue to read Islamic Studies which he/she cannot do at university level,” Oyedepo said, emphasising that by stopping CRS, automatically meant that it would not be embraced at the tertiary institutions.
Citing a case in Kwara State where a Christian female student was allegedly beaten and forced to take Arabic Studies against her wish, Omobude expressed concern at the contention and controversy that have attended the revised Basic Education Curriculum, especially the unnecessary collapse of CRS as part of an omnibus subject known as Religion and National Values.