1.1 Background to the Study

Teaching is an important part of the process of education. Its special function is to impart knowledge, develop understanding and skill (Aggarwal, 1995). Teaching and learning are opposite sides of the same coin; a lesson is not learned until it has been taught. Teaching, therefore, should be thought of as a process that facilitates learning.

Christian Religious Studies (CRS) is one of the major subjects’ missionaries bequeathed to Nigerian education system on the establishment of schools by the 19th century missionaries. The aim was to train people who will be of immense help to the colonial trinity goals (God/Christianity, government/colonization and Gold/commerce). In other to achieve the above, the major curriculum contents of their educational system were Bible knowledge, Arithmetic and English language for communication. To implement fully the contents, adequate attention was given to the understanding of the place of God in man’s life (Nsongo, 2001). During the missionary era, bible knowledge otherwise known as CRS was the core subject. Subsequently, after independence, government took over schools; there was a clarion call for review of curriculum in 1983. The call was as a result of criticisms leveled against colonial education, which some scholars viewed as being too arts oriented and as such lacked relevance to Nigeria upliftment, political emancipation and infrastructural development (Ocho, 2005). Ocho further explained that the situation led to the modification of the curriculum with greater emphasis on sciences and technological subjects.

For effective teaching to take place adequate considerations must be given to the teacher’s skill, the learners’ preparedness to learn, the teaching/learning environment, and the curriculum in addition to such external variables as government education policies, supervision/ monitoring exercise. These factors combine to give rise to effective teaching of any subject at whatever level of education.

Effectiveness of Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) teaching becomes very important when one considers the indispensable position of the discipline in human socio-cultural, economic, spiritual and moral development. This feat is acknowledged by Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) which placed Religious Studies as one of the core subjects in Group A at the Senior Secondary level. This is probably because Religion goes a long way to determining individual behaviour and aspiration, which in turn determines not only developmental strides of the society but also its internal harmony.

Christian perspective to Religious Studies does not deviate from the general functional roles of religion in the society, such as its efficacy in transcending personal and divisive forces in human society. Through shared symbols, values, norms and doctrines, religion, including Christian religion, provides a forum for people to unite to form integrated groups based on seemingly unfathomable mysteries of human existence.

Religion is a powerful tool for character reformation globally especially Christian religion which has been described by many scholars as a good weapon for reforming the behaviour and character of all individual. This is why this work will focus on the need especially this computer age to have the- fear of God in the lives of every student in our school system. The Educationists have the belief that, it is through the instilling of religious consciousness that sanity can be brought into every fact of the country.

Religion can be defined as the beliefs, attitudes, emotions or behavior constituting man’s relationship with the power and principles of the universe, especially with a deity or deities. It is also an object of conscientious devotion or scrupulous care (Lawal, 2002).


It must also be remembered that this present, time, religious knowledge performance of secondary school students is not encouraging. Therefore, the concern for issue of falling standard of Education as well as the, future of this country has inspired this research that is, it is through Christian Religious as character reformation that things can be put into an orderly manner.

Specifically, CRK teaching is believed to be capable of instilling in the Nigerian youth the required and desired knowledge, values, behaviours, attitudes and skills that would ensure their effective adaptation in an ever-changing multi-faith and multiethnic society, Nigeria, (Eluu, 2011). Obilom in Eluu (2011) equally holds that CRK curriculum is designed to teach not only the content of the holy book but also the moral lessons desirable therefrom.

Learning has to do with the application and integration of the knowledge acquired in a particular unit of instruction. Learning outcomes according to Obanya (2004) are statements that describe significant and essential learning which learners have acquired and can reliably demonstrate at the end of a course or program. The desired or expected learning outcomes of CRS study is on the attainment of ethical and moral behavior of school pupils, in other words, building up the moral character of an individual using example of Christian religion values rather than mere precepts. The main aim of including CRS into Nigerian education curriculum therefore is to advance Christian moral virtues in the lives of school pupils. Most often those desired outcomes do not manifest in some pupils’ behaviours judging from the rate of immorality observable in schools and the society at large.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Nigerian society today like other nations of the world is undergoing through some aspect of moral decadence or moral degradation associated with world-wide development. The moral status of the society has reached to the level one could ask what role multiple religious groups play in building up moral society. The moral ills identified among the secondary school pupils have raised questions on the efficacy of religious studies on shaping moral behavior. CRS curriculum review of 1983 included inculcation of moral values in the content in order to address challenges of moral behaviour among students, but the aim seems to be under siege.

Scholars like Njoku (2012) attributed the breakdown in moral behaviour of the school students to teachers’ attitude and government lack of commitment to the teaching of CRS as some that are committed do not handle the subject well, which has made it almost impossible for learners to attain the set goals. It is against this background that the researcher sought to find out if appropriate selection and effective use of teaching methods could enhance attainment of desired learning outcomes in the students’ lives.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The study examines the Impact of Teaching and Learning Christian Religious Studies in Secondary Schoolsin Owerri West Local government Area of Imo State. Then, the specific purposes of the study are to:

  1. Examine how Christian Religious study aids the reformation of students’ character in secondary schools.
  2. Examine the relationship between the Christian religious study teacher and the students.
  3. Examines how the knowledge of Christian Religious Study aids the molding of students’ character
  4. Examine the effect of Christian Religious Study on students’ academic performance in secondary schools.

1.4 Research Questions

The study is guided by the following research questions:

  1. How does Christian Religious study aid the reformation of students’ character in secondary schools?
  2. Does any relationship exist between the Christian Religious Study teacher and the students?
  3. How does the knowledge of Christian Religious Study aid the molding of students’ character
  4. How does Christian Religious Study affect the academic performance of students in secondary schools?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were developed for the study:

  1. There is no significant relationship between Christian Religious Study and reformation of students’ character.
  2. There is no significant relationship between Christian Religious Study teacher and the students.
  3. There is no significant relationship between Christian Religious Study and the molding of students’ character.
  4. There is no significant relationship between Christian Religious Study and academic performance of students in secondary schools.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The scope of the study is to assess the Impact of Teaching and Learning Christian Religious Studies in Secondary Schoolsin Owerri West Local government Area of Imo State. In addition, the study covers what Christian Religious Studies is, its components, functions, objectives as well as how it affects students attitude and their academic performance.

1.7 Limitation of the Study

This research study is on Owerri West Local government Area of Imo State. Some perceived constraints may be encounter by the researcher in the course of carrying out the research work. The limitations are as follows:

  1. Inadequate material: Inadequate material constituted one of the limitations of the research work. The non-availability of materials like journals, textbooks etc the research study.
  2. Finance: The researcher also may encounter some financial constraints which will contribute in limiting the work in the sense that fund available was not enough to carry out the research to a logical conclusion.
  3. Time: Time is also another factor or limitation that may affect the research work. The limited time may not give the researcher enough opportunity to do more rigorous work.

1.8 Significance of the Study

The study would be beneficial to students, teachers, religious instructors, curriculum planners, educational administrators, researchers and textbook authors. To students, the study would help to improve their understanding of CRS and thus adjust properly in the society through active participation in the classroom leaning which stimulate their interest and change the negative perceptions they already have in learning CRS and this invariably help them to develop the affective domain of knowledge in secondary schools. They would equally perform better in internal and external examinations without depending on examination malpractice which have been the problem in the educational sectors. This is because the student stands a chance of becoming masters on their own through involvement in different roles in the classroom. The findings of the study would help teachers to have an insight into the meaning, application and problems of using role play method of teaching and thus change their method when the need arises for proper students’ achievement and interest in CRS in secondary schools. The relevance of effective method in the implementation of Christian religious studies in secondary school would be made known to teachers as they are the chief implementer of planned curriculum of schools. This could be done by teachers observing the students performing their roles and equally identifies the individual’s problem in using the method in the teaching and learning of CRS in secondary schools.

Religious instructors and bodies are not left out as they would understand the best way to educate children in the principles and practice of Christianity which invariably will promote peace and harmony as well as co-existence in the Nigerian society. Curriculum planners or designers would be made to understand curriculum problems that affect the application of effective teaching method like Role-play in the implementation of CRS curriculum in secondary schools especially in Port Harcourt Local Government Area of River State.

The findings of the study would expose the educational administrators to the importance of conducive environment in teaching and learning and thereby put these environmental conditions such as classroom building, learning materials, quality library etc, in order for proper implementation of Christian Religious Studies curriculum. They would equally be meant to understand the interactional effects of gender and role-play method and thus help teachers to initiate change where appropriate. The findings of the study as well as the concepts, theories and methods would be reference materials for researchers especially those that specialize in Christian Religious Studies. Finally, the textbook authors on education would benefit from the study by updating their knowledge on the techniques and besides disseminate the findings through textbooks they publish.

The larger society would equally benefit from this study. This is because, the effective teaching and learning of CRS will bring desirable change in behaviour of students and this invariably would help to reduce high level of religious intolerance, hatred, killing, conflict, terrorism, militancy, and other insurgences that is ravaging Nigerian society.

1.9 Definition of Terms

CRS: Christian Religious Studies

Religious studies: A religious study is the academic field of multi-disciplinary, secular study of religious beliefs, behaviors, and institutions. It describes, compares, interprets, and explains religion, emphasizing systematic, historically based, and cross-cultural perspectives.

Student: One who is enrolled or attends classes at a school, college, or university.