Rethinking the Religious Education Curricula in Nigerian Schools

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This article traces the historical background to the polarised religious education (RE) curricula in Nigerian primary and secondary schools, highlighting some post-colonial interventions and backlashes. Using regional treaties and international human
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  1 Volume 22 • Number 22009  Journal   for  the Study  of  Religion   2  3 Contents “Going through the Fire with Eyes Wide Open”:  African Women’s Perspective on Indigenous Knowledge, Patriarchy, and Sexuality 5 Isabel Apawo Phiri and Sarojini Nadar  Seeing (through) the Gaze: Marking Religious and Cultural Differences onto Muslim Female Bodies 23 Maheshvari Naidu Discovering Jews in Southern Africa:  A Critical Approach to the Comparative Method 43 Booker T. Alston Rethinking the Religious Education Curriculain Nigerian Schools 63 Oduntan Jawoniyi  4  63 Rethinking the Religious Education Curricula in Nigerian Schools Oduntan JawoniyiQueen’s University, Belfast  Abstract This article traces the historical background to the polarised religious education (RE) curricula in Nigerian primary and secondary schools, highlighting some post-colonial interventions and backlashes. Using regional treaties and international human rights frameworks, this article considers the probable justifications for deploying the confessional model of RE, accentuating the possible violations of the principles of religious freedom necessitated by the deployment of the confessional pedagogical model in Nigeria’s publicly funded schools. In consonance  with contemporary trends in RE in Europe, Australia, Canada and South Africa, to mention a few, this article advocates the substitution of the currently deployed confessional, monoreligious education curricula  with a non-confessional, multifaith RE curriculum. In emphasizing the potential benefits of non-confessional, multifaith RE, this article highlights how this model of RE respects, protects and fulfills the rights of the child  which are unequivocally articulated in regional treaties and international human rights law. The article finally draws attention to strategies requisite for implementing non-confessional, multifaith RE in Nigeria’s publicly funded primary and secondary schools. Background   The religious education curricula in any country do not emerge from a vacuum. They systematically evolve, mirroring a country’s religious history, traditions,
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