The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has raised the alarm over the danger confronting Islamic studies and the Arabic language in the Southwest.
MURIC said various challenges ranging from lack of subject teachers to syllabus defect face the teaching of the two subjects in the Southwest.
The body said those behind the shortfall of IRK teachers in the Southwest are creating a trap for future generations.
Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director of MURIC, therefore, called on the governments of the region to rise to the occasion as quickly as possible.
Akintola made the call in a statement he issued on Saturday.
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 a lack of teachers, schemes, guides, 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 that 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 be 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.”