Segun Babatunde, Gombe
As controversy continues to trail the proposed law on the National Council of Christian Education, the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has described it as retroactive, saying it does not in any way support the proposal.
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) stated that it has reviewed the National Council of Christian Education Bill and expressed its strong and unreserved opposition to the content of the Bill that seeks to regulate and monitor the implementation and development of Christian Education in Nigeria.
According to a statement personally signed by the Archbishop, Metropolitan & Primate of the Church of Nigeria, The Most Rev’d Henry C. Ndukuba yesterday, “By its Title, the Bill purports to introduce mandatory certification of the contents of Christian Religious Education, including Christian Education Syllabuses and curricula.”
The statement added that, “It also seeks to approve and monitor how Christian Religious Education is taught in all schools and to accredit the programmes of Christian Theological Institutions and Seminaries, and certify Christian Religion Education Instructors.”
The Anglican Primate stressed that,”The Church of Nigeria notes that the Bill purports to be retroactive and that existing Church owned Seminaries and Religious Faith based Institutions are not exempted. Primarily, the Church of Nigeria rejects the Bill for being inconsistent with the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution by seeking to interfere with its entrenched Constitutional rights of freedom of religion.”
Archbishop Ndukuba added that,”The establishment of curricula, the duration and content of training courses in respect of Christian Education at any level, is recognized as being entirely within the prerogative of religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution.”
“Registered Christian Churches such as the Church of Nigeria with long established and globally recognized training institutions and products must maintain the right to adhere to their own training methods and content and cannot have same curtailed,” he added.
The Clergyman declared that,”We therefore recommend a consultative forum to discuss the issues of concern
relating to the regulation of standards pertaining to Christian Education, without interference with the freedom to teach and to learn in accordance with long
established educational curricula of well established Churches.”
“Meanwhile, the Church of Nigeria rejects the National Council of Christian Education Bill and urges that it be withdrawn forthwith by its sponsors. The Lord be with you,” he concluded.