By Ustadh Dr Adekunle Mikail
Education matters, not to talk of the education of the growing souls; the young ones!
Parents have the primary duties of educating their children in the way of the Lord! The prophet salla-llahu alehi wasalam is reported to have mentioned that among the responsibilities of parent to his child is to :” teach him the Book of Allah ( The glorious Qur’an)! ”
Subhanallah! Parents are solely given the responsibility to teach their children the Book of Allah which comprises many branches of Islamic education! But how many parents, perchance, they are well-educated themselves to do so, are discharging this great responsibility these days?
What of those who themselves are slightly baked or not baked at all in the knowledge of Allah’s Book? Do parents really connote the underlined import in being the first teachers of their children and wards in terms of religious education!
All said, the scholars of Islam know that some parents, even if they are knowledgeable, cannot be chanced to discharge this important responsibility to their wards, therefore, they have given permission to these kinds of parents and those that are not knowing with the religious knowledge to enrol their wards in reputable religion’s schools or madaris, or enrol the service of reputable teachers of religion to discharge that responsibility on their behalf !
For the record, in the religious education lies the moral values a nation, a society and a people will need to be different from animals as well as beasts! Failure to impart parts of these moral values into the consciousness of the child in his growing or formative year will spell doom for him, his nation, his society, and his people, in later years when the vicissitudes of life may have set in!
It is an incontrovertible fact that the religion education in this part of the world is declining every passing day! The factors adduced for this may be:
– The long hour being used in government schools whereby the children will be in the school from morning till evening! On their return to their homes, lethargy will set in to attend the Islamiyyah schools which are most times scheduled for the evening except on weekends while they commence class from the morning to afternoon; for they must be dog tired to attend the classes and if attended, little or nothing will be fathomed on what the Mu’alimmuna are teaching them!
This was not the practice in the recent past where western schools were orderly organized within the duration of seven hours from 7 O’Clock in the morning to 2 0’clock in the afternoon! All the educational priorities including sports were duly planned and executed within that range! And in the afternoon, students might use the remaining times, from 4 0′ clock in the evening till the sunset, for beneficial things which can add flavour to their western schooling now and in the future such as attending Islamiyyah schools for the Muslims, bible class for the Christians, nearby farms sometimes and hawking of goods for their parents sometimes.
But today, our society has abandoned moral for it prefers undue religiosity in consulting marabout, church priest and traditionalist in times of tribulation to sending their children to religious schools for deeper understanding of the religions they are professing!
– Low enrollment in Islamiyyah school due to the lackadaisical attitude of parents to religion education. If we blame schools for using unnecessary longer duration for what can be done in normal durations without hassles, we must know that, it is the attitude of the parents to their children enrollment in islamiyyah school had paid put to it!
Godless life in the name of seeking daily sustenance whereby, children are subjected to rigorous jobs which are not in tandem with their schooling so as to make extra incomes for family upkeeps! Hard jobs such that are incompatible with the health and future ambitions of the children and which can in the long run give them unsound footing in life are preferred to religious education by the parents!
– Life styles of most parents. This is another stumbling block in the religious education of children in this clime. The old maxim: ” you can give what you don’t have and you can’t put something on nothing” is true to most parents about religious education in this society!
Since most of these parents and guardians themselves are religious only by the names and monikers given to them by their own parents at birth; no or little education were given to them in terms of the religions of their fathers, they don’t see any good reason where they must offer their own children what their fathers could not give them at their formative years!
Besides, there is a long age belief among parents that after long years spent by individuals in the acquisition of religious education, the government of this region does not care to offer complimentary posts to them as it is done for those that spent lesser years in acquiring western education! This singular act of the government has been a great discouragement to most parents in enrolling their children in islamiyyah school.
– No or meager salary for the teachers of the religious education. Teachers in Islamiyyah schools are known for their poor living standard, begging during religious ceremony and life of hardship despite their erudition in their fields of study.
This is due to no fault of their own but the religious communities and governments in their locales! The people which they serve do not see them as their equals or those they can be offering monthly salaries or weekly wages. Thereby, they are offering them tokens, pittance and what cannot assuage their hungers , in form of emoluments in naming, burial and house warming ceremonies!
– Lack of incentives to the children in learning the religion’s knowledge etc. When the teachers in the fields of religious education are not positively motivated, can the students being educated be motivated?
The answer to the poser here is big NO! The Yoruba will say proverbially :” The one who seeks others’ helps in catching his bolted goat will first of all lift his hands to catch it” ( Ba n meran mi ni o ko kepa)!
This is a clarion call to both the parents and wards to be more active in the discharging of their responsibilities towards their children! They should remember that some parents will be queried and subsequently punished for killing their children with their own hands and attitudes, on the Day of resurrection!
” When the female infant buried alive is asked for what sin she was killed” Qur’an 81, Vs 8
” The one the glorious Qur’an is referring to here specifically will not be only looked into rather, the general import of the verse is deliberated upon as the exegetes of the glorious Qur’an will say!
Although, some parents are concerned with the religious education of their children to the level of using their cars to convey their children to the islamiyyah schools!
While some prefer the teachers of their children to come to their homes and pick them as if the teachers of the government schools have been coming to their homes to pick them too!
Many are the parents and guardians in this part of the world that despite their affluence and good life, they will not pay the token the Islamiyyah schools are charging for the service being rendered!
Many, on the other hands, prefer spending their wealth on frivolities rather than on what will benefit them in this life and in the hereafter forgetting that: ” the one on which salary should be charged mostly is the Book of Allah!
It is to be noted here again that, it is the child that we train properly in the ways of God that will know the rewards in taking good care of his parents at their twilights as he will fathom the punishment accrued in abandoning his parents!
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