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1.1 Background to Study
Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) cannot be overemphasised in academic society (Bode, 2000); this is because it defines the belief, relationship and individual knowledge about God and understanding of religious content to life application. The subject is meant to equip learner to experience peaceful relationship in the society. In the view of Oladapo (2000), CRK is the study of life exemplified by Jesus Christ; the subject afford students to the opportunity to know more about Jesus Christ, his birth, life, death and resurrection.
Nigerian educational system has gone through various developments and changes; from 7-5-2-3 to 6-5-2-3 and to 6-5-4 system. Again, from 6-3-3-4 to 9-3-4 system of education (Adeyemi, 2001). An analysis reveals that selection, organisation of content, implementation, evaluation, development coupled with distribution and use of teaching materials and relevance of the scheme to the need of the society and students necessitated the change (Igwe, 2000). However, the birth of new scheme of work in CRK in Junior Secondary Schools has brought changes such as conducting weekly assessment for the students (Jaja, 2001).
The syllabus of CRK in the past fell short of systematic consideration of topics and lesson to be taught in the school; not only that, New Testament lesson is always mixed-up with Old Testament in teaching the student which has denied them basic fundamental background of the Old Testament (Abayomi, 2002). Overcrowded classes and time table distribution of subjects did not favoured CRK which has lead to bad classroom management and lack of coordinating the students when the teacher is teaching. This added stern on school scheduling, workload and on classroom management (James, 2001). According to Adebambo (2000), the increase in child birth and advertisement by government on the need to be educated prompted many parents to register their children in the school which has had multiplication effect in classroom.
In the view of Ivoria (1998), paucity of textbook and other learning aids has hindered the successful implementation of many laudable educational programmes. As Ajidagba (2000) put it, textbook is a rough stone which need to be polished, interpreted and perhaps put into food which will be more easily digested by the students and teachers. To him the students will be able to understand better what the teacher has taught them by working out assignment and exercise in the textbook. CRK subject, however, fall into this plague of scarcity of textbooks; where the textbook is available it is not enough in the market, many book markers prefer to sell science related subject textbooks than CRK because of the rate of demand by the students. The fact that the status of CRK in the curriculum keeps fluctuating is a worrisome problem that stir its teaching. The teachers, students and parents now show negligence to the subject . Initially; the subject was elective and later became a core subject and subsequently an elective again (Aderibigbe, 2002). The implication of the forgoing is that government gives more priority to science related subjects than humanities.
The quality and qualification of the teachers employed to teach CRK in era of this Universal Basic Education (U.B.E) is unfriendly (Ebel, 2000). In some cases the Social Studies teachers were employed to teach CRK instead of qualified teacher who read the subject in tertiary institutions. Also Abiona (2001), averred reasons that many state governments had laid embargo on teaching employment with reason that the ministry of education is not generating revenue.
1.2 Statement of Problem
In any educational innovation, challenges in curriculum, method of teaching and in scheme always arise which cut across all subjects including Christian Religious Knowledge (C.R.K) in Universal Basic Education (U.B.E) (Timothy, 2001).
Through thorough studies, it was revealed that CRK lack fund (Falako, 2000). Some state government undermined CRK in schools and give priority to science related disciplines by providing fund for the teachers in charge to upgrade themselves. Those governors decided to do these in other to get support for their political career. In some cases where federal government released fund for CRK subject, the fund are been diverted for another purpose. The salary and remuneration of CRK teachers are not encouraging compare to their counterpart in the same profession. Moreover, students were denied of free launch meal in UBE because of lack of fund which as grossly affected CRK students in school; hence ‘a hungry student is an angry student’. Many students could not be taken for excursions because of lack of fund neither were they encouraged in contributing money for this. The CRK teachers were not assisted financially to purchase adequate instructional material for them self; this has, however, jeopardised effective teaching of CRK subject in schools.
As good as UBE programme is, there seem to exist problem of attitude of parents to CRK subject (Kemi, 2002). A good number of parents give high priority to materials wealth at the detriment of their children/ward education. Some parents would desire that their children/ward study medicine in tertiary institution than CRK; while some parents were fund of enforcing a course of study on their children which they might not good at. The attitude of peer group did no even help matters, as some students are been lure to offer the course their friends are offering rather than CRK. This has led to decline in CRK subject and failure in examination couple with government policy of admission ratio of 60 (sixty) science students to 40 (forty) humanities. This has lead to decrease in CRK teachers who graduated to teach CRK in schools. The attitude of the society did not even help situation has CRK students are been tagged ‘academic lazy students’ and the teachers are nick named as pastor. The school authority has even robbed CRK subject by giving it two periods only on school time table and by fixing it in afternoon when the rate of assimilation will have reduced.
Consequently, CRK in recent time as been subjected into extinction by government (Okeleye, 2000). To him, it is absurd for the federal government to have placed CRK among the elective subjects in group ‘C’ in National Policy of Education 2004 rather than in group ‘A’ where compulsory subjects are listed. Some CRK teachers were not given position of recognised authority in school; while some of them were not given privilege to attend academic seminars to upgrade themselves. In most schools, CRK subject were not celebrated like Yoruba day, Open day in school where student can exhibits religious prowess.
1.3 Purpose of Study
The objectives of embarking on this study are:
(1) To appraise the place of Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) in Universal Basic Education (U.B.E) in Secondary Schools, the manner in which CRK is taught and to identify flaws and area of strength.
(2) To examine the attitude of the government, society, parents, teachers and students to the subject.
(3) To find out the challenges affecting the status of CRK in the Universal Basic Education (U.B.E).
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The underlisted hypotheses were formulated and tested in the study:
Hi: There will be no significant difference between the old and new CRK syllabus.
Ho: There will be no significant difference between the old and new CRK syllabus.
Hi: There will be no significant difference in the attitude of government, society, parents, teachers and students to CRK in UBE.
Hi: There will be no significant difference in the attitude of government, society, parents, teachers and students to CRK in UBE.
1.6 Significance of Study
This research will help teachers to identify the differences between the old and new CRK syllabus. It will enable the teacher to discover areas of improvement in the new syllabus. For the students, it is hope that this research will bring about awareness and attitudinal change to CRK. So also the parents will change their negative conception toward CRK subject. The society will not be left also on the change, for it is believed that member of the society negative orientation to CRK will change for good.
The school authority may through this research identify the need of the classroom teachers in CRK, such as instructional materials and swift to provide it. Moreover, this study will oblige the school authority to organise in-service training for the teachers and to recommend CRK teachers for seminars outside the school premises which in turn will afford CRK teacher to head the position of authority in school administration.
This study will afford the society to be aware of the change in educational system, what should be their contribution to the success of it and the benefit the society stands to gain on it. The peer group and other professional men and women in the society will be able to accept CRK as profession and as academic discipline which they can encourage their children/ward to offer in school. The elders in the society will accept CRK as companion subject designed to assist them to eradicate moral decadence.
Through this research the religious studies students in tertiary institution will be equipped with knowledge on CRK in UBE, its concept and implementation strategy. The CRK teacher will be able to identify what is expected of him or her in disseminating teaching and by attending classes regularly. It will also, help the sunday school teachers, parish pastors on how to teach Biblical concept in UBE to their secondary students in the church.
The recommendation provided in this study will go a long way in assisting the parents to encourage their children/ward to offer CRK; they will also be equipped with the benefits of the subject to their family, society, schools and the country at large. The school authority will be encouraged to provide instructional materials for the teachers and to recommend CRK teachers for educational seminars.
1.7 Scope of Study
The study covered appraisal of the place of Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) in Universal Basic Education (U.B.E) syllabus. The study was limited to Mushin and Oshodi/Isolo Local Government.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
The following operational definitions were defined:
CURRICULUM: A running course of subject in academic discipline organise in school for specific duration.
DECADENCE: This is known as falling standard in behaviour and attitude.
EVALUATION: This is assessment conducted to discover the level of student’s academic performance through test.
IMPROVISED: Is to make something through material to resemble the original; where the original object cannot be gotten.
SCHEME: It is a plane or system of work to be done in an organised matter.
SYLLABUS: Is a list of topics students should study before the end of a programme in a subject in school.
UBE: This is nine years compulsory education in Nigeria known as Basic 1-9.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
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