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The Kano Islamic model schools in self-search

Pupils going through the basic schools of the Islamic Model Schools are acquainted with the primary knowledge of Islam, including its morality and they are…

Pupils going through the basic schools of the Islamic Model Schools are acquainted with the primary knowledge of Islam, including its morality and they are also introduced to the western education but not on its secular nature. These pupils while learning any topic either in Biology or Geography knows that God is the ultimate.

Investigation by Sunday Trust revealed that by combining the two system of education, Islamic Model Schools are in a better position to provide the much desired functional education, it is one in which academic excellence is laced with moral excellence. Accordingly the primary objective of all Islamic Model Schools is to ensure the realization of sound morality and better education for children.

Further investigation by Sunday Trust revealed that despite the importance of such schools to any Muslim society, given the type of education it is providing, the Islamic Model Schools are bedevilled with problems that impede the achievement of their goals in the State.

In a keynote addressed delivered on the occasion of Aisha Lemu Cup Competition organised by Associations of Islamic Model Schools (AMIS), Kano State chapter, held at Al-Azhar school , Kano, the Director of Education, International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) Nigerian Office, Malam Muhammad Ali said the challenges facing Muslim model schools are numerous and multidimensional.

He noted that the problems could be coalesced into three broad categories which he analyzed as institutional challenges, attitudinal challenges and the challenges of making a difference.

The director stated that many proprietors of Muslim schools had complained of uncooperative attitude of officials of regulatory bodies in their efforts to have their schools registered by government agencies.

He observed. “This uncooperative posturing of some officials of Ministry of Education has frustrated a lot of efforts by many who wished to establish Muslim Schools even when they have obviously met the set standards,” he said.

Another problem, according to him, is the imposition of a curriculum which seeks to restrict the ambience of the educational objectives of Islamic Schools. He stressed the need for the model schools to have curriculum that would not contradict the goals for which they were established.

The establishment of many model schools in one area by different proprietors has also been described as a setback. Malam Ali observes that proliferation of such schools without the commensurate capacity to do so was a source of concern. “Why have four Muslims schools in the same locality, struggling to meet the standard required for approval when they could well merge into one thriving whole? “ he queried.

He further advised that in establishing the model schools an advisory body should be formed to assist and midwife the birth of a new school. “By so doing, potential impediments against licensing by government would have been identified and removed, “he said.

He added that, “The schools will also do well to have experts in educational management in the ranks of the administrative staff to boost the organisational practices of the schools.”

Underscoring the importance of teachers in model schools, Malam Ali said the teacher’s position is pivotal, saying Muslims teachers must reflect on the prophetic message and represent good moral character and example. “Teachers need to evaluate their commitment and response to the challenge of working in Muslim schools as often as possible. There should be regular self assessment; it is most important for the teacher to check whether or not he or she is reflecting the best example to the pupils, “he advised.

For the fact that the model schools were established primarily to provide quality education with morality to the child, the speaker has emphasised that they should be provided with an enabling environment. “One of the distinguishing characteristics of an Islamic model school is providing the most conducive environment for the development of the pupil’s personality,” he said.

He added. “It is important that the entire school environment is permeated by Dhikr of Allah (Remembrance of God) in the broadest sense of the word. Prayer for example if it falls during school hours, should be greatly emphasized, particularly the principle of Jama’a (congregation).”

He further stressed that the entire school premises should be kept clean and tidy, decorated with Islamic teachings especially related to personal interaction and accountability, saying use of human and animal pictures should be minimised greatly

Commenting on the disciplinary aspect of the school, Malam Ali said in the primary phases, the rules should be more lenient as according to him children of tender age are not held fully accountable. “Love of Allah and his Rasul (SAW) should be the main quality imbued in the child at this age. Nevertheless, unacceptable behaviour must always be checked and sometimes investigated,” said him.

In her speech, the chairperson, protem Committee, the Association of Model Islamic Schools (AMIS), Kano State chapter, Hajia Binta Tijjani Jibril said AMIS is a voluntary, National Non-political Organisation, was which established in 1995 with the aim of steering cooperation among private Islamic oriented schools in Nigeria through the exchange of ideas and sharing experience.

She said the Aisha Lemu Cup Competition was organised to bring together the Islamic Models Schools in Kano with the aim of competing and interacting in good spirit.