Alhaji Baba Yahya Khalid, General Manager of the Islamic Education Unit, at the weekend asked Muslims not to “fear” secular education.
“Time was when Muslims feared secular education because of the imposition of Christian names on Muslims but things have changed. Muslims must pursue knowledge wherever they are,” he said.
Alhaji Khalid said this at a conference in Ho to deliberate on the future of Islamic Education in the Volta Region, on the theme, “The future of Islamic schools in Volta Region: The role of stakeholders.”
He said seeking knowledge was compulsory for all Muslims, and therefore, charged Muslim parents to value education and invest in it.
Alhaji Khalid called on parents, past students and Muslim communities in the Volta Region, to help build the 41 Islamic schools in the Region and position them to compete with other mission schools.
Hajia Nasiba Taahir-Swallah, a Lecturer at the Islamic University College and a Clinical Psychologist, said the “acquisition of knowledge is worship,” and recommended integrated education (Islamic and secular) for Muslims.
She pointed out that integrated education better prepared Muslim children to be independent and well disciplined.
Hajia Taahir-Swallah urged Muslim parents to “infuse” faith and the fear of God in their children so people could see the “beauty of Allah” in them.
She asked parents to show concern in the education of their children and regularly visit them at school.
Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, Volta Regional Minister, in a speech read on his behalf, said government was making education “almost free” hence; there was no excuse for children of school going age to be kept out of the classroom.
He underscored the importance of secular education, and said while spiritual education was useful, it needed to be balanced with physical and psychological development attainable through secular education.
Mr Dickson Ogordor, a Director at the Volta Regional Education Directorate, called for the re-direction of energy towards the education of children in the Region, and especially in Muslim communities.
He observed a downward trend in the academic performance of the Region, and called for transformational change in the sector. GNA