The Kwara State Government and the Christian Association of Nigeria have expressed divergent views on holding of religious devotion for students in the public primary and secondary schools in the state.
While the state government said students in both primary and secondary schools should have silent prayers during their morning devotion, the state chapter of CAN maintained that the morning devotion for students in government schools should be conducted according to the religious faith of the proprietors of each school.
The government on Monday directed that students in public schools should be made to pray silently during their morning devotion while reacting to a directive issued by the Secretary of Ilorin West Local Government Area that schools should hold separate devotion for both Muslim and Christian students in schools in the area.
The government in a statement by Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Mrs Bisola Ahmed said, “It has come to the notice of the Kwara State Government that some religious organisations have been going to public schools in the state to preach during the morning assembly.
The ministry wants to say categorically that no religious organisation is permitted to go to public schools for preaching or engaging in any religious activities during morning assembly.
“The ministry, therefore, directs that prayers should be said silently on the morning assembly across public schools in the state.
“The government appeals to all school heads and other stakeholders to adhere strictly to this directive, which is to maintain peace and decorum in our schools. All principals, head teachers and education secretaries should please take note.”
However, CAN faulted the statement of education commissioner, which it said contradicted the stand of government and other stakeholders in the state.
It urged that the status quo should be maintained on morning devotion or assembly in public schools in the state.