The National Council of Muslim Youth Organization (NACOMYO), Lagos Chapter, has advocated that the state government employ more Islamic Religious Studies (IRS) teachers to address the shortfall in the ratio of teacher per schools across the state.
NACOMYO also demand that the state government review contents of the electronic device it distributed to teachers to boost standard of education, saying IRS does not have instructional materials to guide the teachers on what they should do while in class as against other subjects included in the device.
The Muslim group raises these concerns and other challenges been confronted by Lagosians during a media parley held at the Secretariat Central Mosque, in Alausa -Ikeja.
Speaking on the issues raised, NACOMYO State Coordinator, Isiaka Salami, said that their concern on these issues were that there is need to groom the children properly through inculcating the tenets of Islam in them, as part of measures to ensure they contribute their quota to developments across the country particularly Lagos.
Salami noted that for a better society, 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 this 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 right from 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 if IRS teachers across Lagos state before COVID-19 was 267. After the lockdown, the number has reduced to 220.
“This number before the pandemic was a far cry, as the number if teachers are not enough to go round all schools in Lagos, not to talk of when the number keep 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 leave blank the aspect of IRS to the discretion of teachers without including any instrutional 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”.
Salami, meanwhile, implore the state government to address the issues, stressing, it is always advisable that the learning and education of citizens irrespective of their leaning should be given utmost
“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 appropriate Islam to her citizens, the mischief makers will teach wrong Islam”.