2nd October, 2021
ISLAMIC STUDIES ENDANGERED IN YORUBALAND – MURIC
A group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has raised the alarm about the danger confronting Islamic studies and Arabic language in Yorubaland. The group said various challenges ranging from lack of subject teachers to syllabus defect face the teaching of the two subjects in all the states of the South West. It therefore called on the governments of the region to rise to the occasion as quickly as possible.
This was contained in a press statement issued on Saturday 2nd October 2021 by the director and founder of the organisation, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The statement reads :
“The teaching of Arabic language and Islamic Studies (IRK) is gradually disappearing in both primary and secondary schools in the South West. Most of these schools have no subject teachers for the two subjects and no effort is being made to recruit teachers for them. Most of these states only employ teachers of other subjects when they recruit any teacher at all.
“The tab given to teachers in some of these states has notes on Bible Knowledge (BK) fully loaded whereas what is found under IRK is: ‘This period is designated for IRS specialist to teach pupils’. The IRK period is often wasted without the pupils learning anything about the subject due to lack of teachers, scheme, guide, or textbooks but BK or CRK content for teaching is readily available.
“We urge the ministries of education in the Yoruba states, Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti to urgently address this gross imbalance. Religious education is important to inculcate the right values and the fear of Allah in the citizenry from childhood.
“However, the purpose may be defeated if attention is paid to only one religion at the expense of another. It should be noted that criminals do not discriminate between one faith or the other when they pick their victims. The current spate of insecurity which is affecting people of all faiths should be a lesson to all.
“Whoever thinks this is a problem for Muslims alone has missed the point. We are interwoven in all facets of life. Neither will teaching BK to Muslim children solve the problem because square pegs will never fit into round holes. A stitch in time saves nine.
“Those behind the artificial shortage of teachers of Arabic and IRK are simply setting a booby trap for future generations of people of all faiths in Yorubaland. The South West cannot afford to cut its nose to spite its face. We therefore advise the relevant authorities to investigate the imbalance in the availability of teachers of IRK, Arabic and BK as well as the lack of teaching aids for IRK while CRK is over-pampered.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)