Apr 10, 2012, 2:58 PM
The condition of Arabic Islamic schools or Madrassas, as they are also called, in the country needs to be revisited to make them more conducive and effective as educational institutions.
Reports from the recent tour of the National Assembly's Select Committee on Education have indicated that learning conditions at the Arabic Islamic schools visited from the North Bank Region all the way to the Upper River Region are not up to standard.
Almost all the schools visited were found to have problems, such as lack of enough furniture or qualified teachers, while poor condition of school buildings was clearly visible, since they are owned and managed by the communities themselves.
We, therefore, call on the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to seriously look into the issue to redress the situation, so as to ensure that the madrassa school pupils have an equal chance of acquiring a good education based on the curriculum adopted under the new Education Policy .
Indeed, this would be in line with the policy of giving every child access to education, which is of good quality and is also relevant education, which includes those attending the Arabic Islamic schools.
It is also important that these Arabic Islamic schools teach students not only Arabic and Islamic Studies, as well as subjects, like English Language, Mathematics and Science, in line with the curriculum approved by the Education Ministry.
The availability of good qualified teachers in these schools equally deserves attention. These teachers, like teachers in the mainstream schools, must have good pay, as well as a good and conducive learning environment like their counterparts in the towns and capital city.
Once more, we urge the government through the Basic and Secondary Education Ministry to do something about this matter, as soon as possible.
We also encourage the communities to make more efforts in getting assistance for the proper upkeep of the schools.
Since the Ministry is poised to provide a very solid foundation for a society endowed with the required knowledge and skills for national development, Arabic Islamic schools should also be given priority in this regard.