Anglican Communion rejects proposed Christian education bill
* Says legislation inconsistent with provisions of Nigerian constitution
Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has rejected the proposed National Council of Christian Education Bill, calling on its sponsors to back down.
The church said it reviewed the bill with strong and unreserved opposition to its content, which seeks to regulate and monitor implementation and development of Christian education in Nigeria.
In a statement, signed by Primate Henry Ndukuba, the church said: “By its title, the bill purports to introduce mandatory certification of contents of Christian religious education, including Christian education syllabuses and curricula. It also seeks to approve and monitor how Christian religious education is taught in all schools and accredit the programmes of Christian theological institutions and seminaries, and certify Christian religion education instructors.”
The church noted with dismay that the bill purports to be retroactive and that existing church-owned seminaries and religious faith-based institutions are not exempted.
Rejecting the bill for being inconsistent with provisions of the Nigerian constitution by seeking to interfere with entrenched rights of freedom of religion, the church said: “The establishment of curricula, the duration and content of training courses, in respect of Christian education at any level, is recognised 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 recognised training institutions and products, must maintain the right to adhere to their own training methods and content, and cannot have the same curtailed.”
The church, therefore, called on sponsors of the bill to organise a consultative forum to discuss issues of concern relating to regulation of standards pertaining to Christian education, without interference with the freedom to teach and learn, in accordance with long established curricula of well-established churches.
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