Monday, April 20, 2015


By GALGALO BOCHA      Monday, July 23, 2012

Madrassa pupils from Benyoka Primary School in Rabai, Kaloleni District, perform Islamic dance song Kaswida at the Mombasa International ASK show Arena last year. Photo/FILE

Madrassa pupils from Benyoka Primary School in Rabai, Kaloleni District, perform Islamic dance song Kaswida at the Mombasa International ASK show Arena last year. Photo/FILE

Islamic religious schools, commonly known as Madrassa, will be integrated into the formal education system, if a proposal by the government is adopted.

This is part of the radical changes to the education system outlined in the Basic Education Bill 2012 that is awaiting debate in Parliament.

Also to be absorbed into the curriculum is the Duksi system, which is largely practised among the Somali and involves memorising the Koran and other Islamic teachings.

“The Cabinet Secretary may make regulations to provide for integrating the Madrassa and Duksi systems of instruction into formal education as appropriate to improve access and retention,” says the Bill.

The proposed law also seeks to set up a National Council for Nomadic Education to promote education in pastoral and arid areas.

Last week, acting Education permanent secretary George Godia said the Madrassa system would be limited to pre­dominantly Muslim areas.

Prof Godia said pre-primary and Islamic religious education schools would be integrated into the formal system and students would get finan­cial assistance from the government.

“It will be the government’s duty to pay fees for these children. As part of the strategy to provide quality education, children will also be entitled to food while in school,” Prof Godia said.

Universal access

To ensure that all Kenyans have access to basic education, schools will not be allowed to send children home over fees arrears or force them to repeat classes and the Teachers Service Commission will provide teachers.

Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo said the proposals were in line with the Constitution and Vision 2030.

Members of Parliament approved the changes at a recent retreat in Naivasha.

Muslims clerics on Monday welcomed the move, saying it would help children access both Islamic and secular education under one roof.

“We are glad to hear that. In fact, that is a key component of the Lancaster House agreement between then Kenyan Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta and Zanzibari Sultan Mohammed Shamte in which the government agreed to Arabic speaking and Islamic studies,” Sheikh Mohammed Khalifa of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya said.

Sheikh Khalifa called for a clause in the Bill that provides for Muslim girls to wear hijabs.

“The programme should also be applicable to areas where there are Muslim students but a majority of locals are people of other faiths. Currently, some schools in Taita Taveta County are forcing Muslim students to study Christian Religious Education,” he said.

Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims Coast branch chairman Sheikh Muhdhar Khitamy challenged the Kenya Institute of Education to consult other interested parties in order to successfully execute the programme.

“It is a good proposal, but without involving experts in Islamic education and the proper manpower to implement it, the programme is bound to fail. They need to consult different Muslim organisations and ask each of them to identity scholars to help them come up with a meaningful programme,” Sheikh Khitamy said.

The Bill also creates a National Education Board, whose officials will be competitively recruited by a panel comprising religious leaders, professionals, people with disabilities and teachers, among others.

Tanzania is facing the same pressure as Muslims, tirelessly, force the provision of the Islamic Court (Kadhi Courts) in the Proposed Constitution. Religious preference were set aside in the Proposed Constitution of The United Republic of Tanzania of 2014 to promote equality in the diversity of beliefs, to enable each sect enjoys the freedom of worship as guaranteed in both the existing and the Proposed constitutions to discourage discrimination.


Powered by Blogger