New Telegraph

Employ more Islamic teachers in Lagos schools, NACOMYO begs Sanwo-Olu

Disturbed by the decreasing number of Islamic Religious Studies (IRS) teachers in Lagos State Public Schools, the National Council of Muslim Youth Organization (NACOMYO), Lagos Chapter, has called on Governor Babajide Sanwo- Olu and other relevant agencies in the state to address the shortfall in the ratio of teacher per schools across the state.

The group said the call was necessary, especially at a time when the government and concerned stakeholders are calling for the need to address moral decadence in society, saying subjects such as IRS where religious values are thought, deserve priority in schools. Speaking at a media parley held at the Secretariat Central Mosque, in Alausa -Ikeja, NACOMYO’s State Coordinator, Isiaka Salami also called for a review of the contents of the electronic devices the state government distributed to teachers by the state government to boost standards of education.

It said that the IRS does not have instructional materials to guide teachers on what they should do while in class, as against other subjects included in the device. According to the group, there is a need to groom the children properly through inculcating the tenets of Islam and moral conduct in them to enable them to contribute their quota to national developments across the country, particularly Lagos.

He added that the government needed to teach appropriate Islamic tenets to schoolchildren in order to guide them towards becoming better citizens of Nigeria. He stated that for the schoolchildren to have the basic knowledge that would prepare them for the future there is need to have adequate teachers and the right instructional materials in place.

The state coordinator stressed that these two basic requirements were currently lacking across schools in Lagos State and the schoolchildren were at the receiving end, adding it is unfair that Muslim children will be deprived of their essential rights by the government. “The number of IRS teachers kept depleting due to retirement, and the state is not doing anything to fill the vacuum. For instance, the total number of IRS teachers across Lagos state before COVID-19 was 267. After the lockdown, the number has been reduced to 220.

“This number before the pandemic was a far cry, as the number of teachers are not enough to go round all schools in Lagos, not to talk of when the number keeps reducing without any known attempt to replace and augment the initial deficit.

“Aside from that, the new electronic reading tool which the state government gave to teachers as instructional material leaves blank the aspect of IRS to the discretion of teachers without including any instructional details. “Other subjects in the reading tool have instructional detail which give a sort of concern that why should IRS alone be left in the discretion of the teachers that teaches it”. He said that the government cannot afford to leave the teaching of essential religious knowledge to the hands of anyone without proper check. “When government fails to teach the appropriate Islam to its citizens, the mischief makers will teach wrong Islam,” he said.

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