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Islamiyya schools struggle with curriculum problem

Parents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) say that in spite of the large number of top quality Islamiyya schools to choose from the fees are excessive.

Investigation by Daily Trust revealed that there are Islamiyya schools in virtually all the nooks and crannies of the FCT including those established by mosques and Islamic religious organisations. Some of the schools combine both Islamic and western curricula while others offer only Islamic education but one issue besetting them all is lack of a standardised, uniform curriculum.

Many of the schools operate part-time classes on weekend days while some run on full-time basis. They charge dissimilar fees and use different syllabuses. Most of their students attend secular schools that have trained teachers that impart education following a curriculum.

There were also Islamic home tutors that are hired by parents to teach their children at home after schools.

A parent, Malam Isyaku Ibrahim, said he didn’t face any challenge finding an Islamiyya school for his children in his neighborhood, in Wuse 2, but complained of fee hikes.

He said he paid N400,000 per annum as fees for his children.

“When I relocated to this area I did not face any challenge in finding Islamiyya school. I found good school but the fee per child is exorbitant,” he said.

He said the school has teaching materials, quality teachers and standard syllabus adding that it was internationally recognised.

Hajiya Jamila Yusufa in Garki said there are many schools in Garki. She said schools that combined western and Islamic education, otherwise called model schools, in the area charged higher fees but that she sent her kids to the non-model Islamiyya school to avoid high charges.

“We have many Islamiyya schools in Garki. My children are attending non-model school near my house. I don’t pay any transport fare for them. It is only school fees which is very low compared to other schools,” she said.

Alhaji Anas Galadima said he faced challenges searching for a school when he relocated to a new area.

“I faced challenges in finding a school for my children but when the population of the area increased many schools were established,” he said, adding that he paid N25,000 per child per term and N75,000 per annum as school fees.

“The Islamiyya schools teach character and morals. Government should encourage their establishment,” Galadima urged.

Malam Aliyu Haruna in Federal Housing Estate Lugbe said, “We have enough  Islamiyya schools. They have qualified teachers in both Islamic and Western education. Some are university graduates.”

He said most parents were committed to providing quality and sustainable Islamic knowledge to their children.

He said he spent about N12, 000 per term as school fees per child.

Speaking earlier, the Head Teacher of Darul Qur’an Islamiyya school, Lugbe Federal Housing Estate, Muhammad Aminu Abdullahi, said there are enough Islamiyya schools to cater for children in the FCT.

He, however said a number of Islamiyya schools didn’t have uniforms for pupils while others haven’t got unique syllabus.

“There are enough Islamiyya schools in the FCT but the major challenge is that we don’t have uniform and standardised syllabus. Each Islamiyya school follows a different syllabus,” he observed.

According to him, lack of standard syllabus has been affecting Islamiyya education in the FCT, adding that pupils would have to struggle to catch up with their colleagues if transferred to other schools.

“We charge reasonable school fees compared to the so-called model Islamiyya schools and other secular schools in the FCT,” the head teacher said.

He urged parents to pay fees on time to encourage teachers to impart quality knowledge to their wards.

When contacted, the National Vice President of the Association of Islamic Model Schools, Hajiya Maryam Muhammad Tahan, said the negative impression by the public about Islamiyya schools was the major challenge facing them in the FCT and the country at large.

“They believe that anything Islamic is low class, backward and poor. That is why you will see that the elite preferred to take their children to western education schools,” she said.

She said other challenges included low standard curriculum.

She however said the schools used the national curriculum in teaching Arabic language but it was inadequate in many ways.

Hajiya Maryam, who is the Executive Director of Nurul Bayan International School, said the Islamic Religious Studies (IRS) curricula provided by government, was not up to standard because it was not designed to produce a committed Muslim child.

She appealed to government to address the challenges facing Islamic education in the country.

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