THE CHALLENGES OF TEACHING ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS EDUCATION ON SPIRITUAL AND ACADEMIC FORMATION OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN LAGOS, NIGERIA

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THE CHALLENGES OF TEACHING ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS EDUCATION ON SPIRITUAL AND ACADEMIC FORMATION OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN LAGOS, NIGERIA

 

 

                                                   TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                Page

                                                     

Declaration …………………………………………………………………… ........                 ii

Dedication ……………………………………………………………………..............… iii

Acknowledgement ……………………………………………………………………..... iv

Table of Contents…………………………………………………………………………    v

List of tables………………………………………………………………………………..  ix

Glossary………………………………………………………………………………………..x

Operational Definition of Terms…………………………………………………………... xvi

Abbreviations and Acronyms ………………………………………………………… …. xviii

Abstract…………………………………………………………………………………… xx

 

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction ……………………………………………………               1

1.0 Introduction………………………………………………………………………...        1

1.1 Background to the Study .............……………………………………………….               1

1.2 Statement of the Problem…………………………………………………………….......8

1.3 Research Objectives ………………………………………………………………….. 8

1.4 Research Questions …………………………………………………………………… 8

1.5 Research Premises ………………………………………………………………..               9

1.6 Justification and Significance of the Study ………..…………….………………………9

1.7 Literature Review ……………………………………………………………………         9

1.8 Conceptual Framework ………………………………………………………..…….        18

1.9 Scope and Limitation…. …………………………………………………..……..             20

1.10 Research Methodology …………………………………..……………………….          21

1.11. Field Research ……………………………………………………………..         21

1.11.1 Library Research …………………………………………………………..        27

1.11.2 Methods of Data Collection ………………………………………….…           28

1.12 Data Analysis ………………………………………………………………………        29

 

 

CHAPTER TWO The Introduction and Development of Secondary School IRE

Curriculum in Nigeria …………………………………………………………………….. 30

2.0 Introduction …………………………………………………………………………        30

2.1 Islamic Education during the Colonial Period ………………..…………………….         30

2.2 The Introduction of formal Western Education by the Christian Missionaries………. 31

2.3 Muslim Response to Formal Western Education in Nigeria …………………………… 32

2.4 Development of Muslim Education: 1930-1963 ……………………………………        33

2.5 The Introduction of IRE in the Secondary School Curriculum in Nigeria ……………. 36

2.6 The IRE Secondary School Syllabus……………………………………………….….  46

2.7 Summary and Conclusion…………………………………………………………... 50

 

CHAPTER THREE The Significance of IRE on Spiritual and Academic formation   of Secondary School Students in Lagos ………………………………….……….          51

3.0 Introduction…………………………………………………………………………..       51

3.1 The Significance of IRE in the Promotion of Ideals and Beliefs of Islam …………... 51

3.2 The General Objectives of the IRE Curriculum…………………………………….         53

  • 1The Themes in the IRE Secondary Curriculum………………………………… 54

3.3.2 Islamic Forums and Rallies………………………………………………………… 74

  • Significance of IRE in Spiritual Formation of Students…………………………….. 76
  • Summary and Conclusion………………………………………………………………..79

 

CHAPTER FOUR

 The Challenges facing the Teaching of IRE in Secondary Schools in Lagos …...            80

4.0 Introduction ………………………………………………………………………….       80

4.1 Challenges Facing the Teaching of Islamic Religious Education in

Secondary Schools in Nigeria………………………………………………………… 80

4.2 Challenges facing the teaching of Islamic Religious Education

in secondary schools in Lagos. ……………………………………………………           83

4.3 Summary and Conclusion………………………………………………………….....    98  CHAPTER FIVE

 The Role of Muslim Organizations in the Promotion of IRE in

 Secondary Schools in Lagos ………………………………………………….                   100

5.0 Introduction ……………………………………………………………………….         100

5.1 Supreme Council of Nigeria Muslims (SUPKEM) ………………………………           100

5.2 Jamia Mosque Committee……………………………………………………….             102

5.3 The Islamic Foundation …………………………………..…………………….             104

5.3.1 Educational Projects……………………………………………………………….     104

5.3.2 Children Homes……………………………………………………………………     105

5.3.3 Construction of Mosques………………………………………………………….     105

5.3.4 Publications………………………………………………………………………..     105

5.3.5 Health Care and Welfare Activities………………………………………………...    106

5.4 Ummah Foundation ……………………………………………………………..            107

5.5 Summary and Conclusion……………………………………………………………      118

 

CONCLUSION ………………………..…………….……………………………              110

6.0 Introduction…………………………………………………………………………..     110

6.1 Summary of Findings………………………………………………………………..      110

6.2 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………. 113

6.3 Recommendations……………………………………………………………………. 114

6.4 Suggestions for Further Study……………………………………………………….. 116

Bibliography ………………………………………………………………………….         117

Appendices ….………………………………………………………………………...        125

A1: List of Oral Respondents, their Occupation, Place and Date of Interview…….….       125 A 2: List of Schools that offer IRE in Lagos…………………………………….….       128

  • 3: Research Instruments: Questionnaire/Research Questions ………………….…. 130
    • (i): IRE Teacher‟s Interview Guide…………………………………………………….135
    • (ii): IRE Students Interview Guide……………………………………………………..135
    • (a) Observation check list: Teaching and learning processes ………………………. 136
    • (b) Other activities ……………………………………………………………………. 136

A 6 (a): Map of Nigeria showing the location of Lagos………………………………...….137

A 6 (b): Map of Lagos Showing Selected Schools that offer IRE…………………....... 138

 

 

ABSTRACT

This study sought to investigate the challenges of teaching IRE on spiritual and academic formation of secondary school students in Lagos, Nigeria. The study shows that the foundation of education in Islam is guided by the principles of Quran and Hadith (the saying and deeds of Prophet Muhammad) (PBUH).

 

Indeed, the first revelation of the Quran (Q.96; 1-5) forms the cornerstone of education in Islam. The study further shows that from the Islamic point of view, education is classified into two categories that is, the knowledge of religious obligations- fardh ‘ain. Revealed knowledge or religious sciences fall under this category. The second category is knowledge of the world or universe- fardh kifayah which is communal obligation. This means that it is a duty for all members of the community. Every Muslim should strive to develop himself or herself by earning a living. Acquired knowledge fall under this category.

 

It is noted that IRE‟s primary goal is moral refinement and spiritual formation. IRE is inclined towards noble character building. As an academic subject, IRE has been very instrumental in developing the natural and personal skills of students. The content of IRE helps students to develop spiritually and academically leading to moral refinement and character building. The framework of the study was derived from the holy Quran and Hadith and various perspectives were used.

 

The study adopted both systematic and purposive sampling procedures to select 12 secondary schools out of 37 that offer IRE in Lagos. Four categories of respondents were selected.

These include IRE teachers and students, directors and managers of Islamic organizations such as Islamic Foundation, Ummah Foundation, Supreme Council of Nigeria Muslims (SUPKEM) among others and curriculum planners and developers. Data was collected through interviews and questionnaires and was analyzed with the help of tables of frequency distribution and percentages. It was then synthesized and interpreted accordingly.

 

 

The study shows that the major challenges facing the teaching of IRE in secondary schools in Lagos is shortage of trained IRE teachers. Other challenges include inadequate teaching and learning resources and lack of capacity building and staff development programmes. Few students enrol for IRE because of the negative attitude by both the parents and the students towards the subject. It is also shown that parents encourage their sons and daughters to pursue courses which would be useful in the labor market in terms of getting formal employment. This involves taking subjects which are science oriented as opposed to Art based subjects such as IRE.

 

The study is concluded by noting that Islamic organizations have played a big role in assisting the needy secondary school students in Lagos. These organizations pay school fees for the needy students through bursary schemes. Other contributions made by these organizations include provision of teaching and learning materials for IRE, sponsorship of Muslim students to teacher training colleges for P1, Diploma and University to study IRE and finally establishment of colleges to train IRE teachers.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 INTRODUCTION

1.0 Introduction

This chapter comprises the background to the study, statement of the problem, research objectives, questions and premises. The significance of the study has been discussed and literature related to the study thematically reviewed. The chapter also shows the methodology that was used by the researcher to conduct the research. Finally, the limitations of the study have been outlined.

 

1.1 Background to the study

The term „education‟, in its literal meaning is derived from two Latin words, „educare‟ which means to rear, to bring up or to nourish a child and „educere‟ which means to bring forth, to lead, to draw out or to train (Thungu, et al., 2008:2). The scholars emphasize that education is never a finished process and it is worthwhile because it produces something of value. Education therefore, is the transmission of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values which should enable the individual to develop into a „good‟ member of the society (Thungu, et al., 2008:2).

 

Education is one of the principle means by which society is transformed. It aims at the development of character and mind. The development of skills and knowledge of the people of a nation constitutes one of the highest social factors in relation to national development. Education is involved in both the creation and transmission of values. Therefore, education permeates all aspects of life- spiritual, material and intellectual with one objective, that is to improve life (Brett, 1973).

 

The functions of education in the society cannot be under estimated. Education brings about individual development, thereby developing the individual‟s potential to the highest level. Education also prepares an individual to adjust well in the society and to develop a high sense of responsibility to self and to the society. It enables a person to think critically and constructively. Education is used to bring about changes in agriculture, health, religion, technology and other disciplines by imparting relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes (Thungu, et al., 2008:2)

 

In Islam, the terms knowledge and education are both derived from the Arabic words „ilm‟ and „ta‟alim‟ respectively. The word „ilm is a verbal noun of the root verb „alima. Literally,

alima means „he knew and he was acquainted with‟. The active participle, „aalim (pl. „ulamaa,‟aalimun), means someone who knows and the past participle, ma‟lum (pl.ma‟lumaat), denotes an object known (or an object of knowledge). The English equivalent of „ilm is „knowledge‟.

 

As far as the term „alim is concerned, it exclusively refers to Allah and appears about thirteen times in the holy Quran. Allah is described as „alimu ghaybi wa al- shahada‟ (the knower of the unseen and the visible). The word al-„alim occurs thirty two times and „alima twenty two times as an attribute of Allah. The word „alim appears about one hundred and nine times (Islamic Journal Vol. IV, 2004).

 

The Quran explicitly encourages the gaining of knowledge and education as well as the value of learning from experience. The first revelation calls upon the Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him

(PBUH) to seek knowledge in accordance with the divine guidance (Majid, 1982:42).

Learning (knowledge) is therefore obligatory upon every Muslim male and female.

(Sahih al-Bukhari, 2001, vol.III:52). Seeking knowledge is one of the most meritorious acts of ibadat (worship), that a Muslim can perform. The virtues of knowledge have been expressed by the Prophet by saying:

Acquire knowledge; he who acquires knowledge in the way of Allah Performs an act of piety; he who speaks of it praises the Lord; he who seeks it adores God; he who dispenses instruction in it bestows alms; He who imparts it to the deserving persons performs an act of devotion  (Maina, 1993:44).

 

The foundation of education in Islam is thus guided by the principles of the Quran and

Hadith (the sayings and deeds of Prophet Muhammad). The first revelation in the Quran (Q.96: 1-5) form the cornerstone of education in Islam (Maina, 1993:44).

 

Education from the Islamic perspective is classified into two broad categories. There is the knowledge of the religious obligations – the fundamentals known as fardh „ayn. Every Muslim, male and female must strive to acquaint himself or herself with the knowledge of the religion (Islam). This is in order to understand, appreciate and improve his or her relationship with the creator (Allah), fellow creatures and oneself. Revealed knowledge or religious sciences falls under this category. The second category is knowledge of the world or universe – fardh kifayah (communal obligation) (Kheir, 2000:3). In other words, a Muslim should strive to acquaint himself or herself with knowledge that embraces his or her political, social, economic development by earning a living. Acquired knowledge falls under this category. In essence, the main objective of education in Islam is to produce a believing community where every one of its members would be working towards achieving the goals of the divine Quranic discourse, that is, a Muslim‟s commitment to observe his or her duties towards Allah, self and the community (Kheir, 2000:3).

 

 

In addition, Islamic education aims at moral and spiritual formation. Although Islamic education looks at physical, mental, scientific and practical aspects, more emphasis is laid on moral training. Another aim of Islamic education is instilling appreciation of secular issues in life. This is because Islam is a way of life and embraces political, social and moral, economic and religious aspects. Religious, social and moral aspects are regarded as most important. Islamic education is also concerned with the material aspects of life. Muslim philosophers studied science, literature and arts. These subjects are regarded as important both in the acquisition of a livelihood and in the strengthening of moral character (Thungu et al, .2008:29).

 

The Islamic concepts and principles of acquiring and creating knowledge have three degrees of knowledge. Firstly, there is „ilm al- Yaqin, that is, knowledge by inference. This depends on the truth of its (knowledge) assumptions (postulates) such as in deduction or on probabilities that is, induction. The second category is „Ayn al Yaqin which is knowledge by perception and observation. This is based on actual experience of phenomena. Scientific knowledge belongs to the above mentioned categories and is acquired from the study of natural phenomena which are signs of Allah (Ayat Allah) and symbols of ultimate reality. The last category of knowledge is Haqq al- Yaqin. Here, Allah reveals His signs not only in the observation and contemplation of the outer world („Afaq) but also through the inner experience of the mind (Anfus) (Ibn Hazim, 1999:16). This divine guidance comes to Allah‟s creatures in the first instance from the inner experience by means of Jibillah (instinct),

Wijdaan (intuition), Ilham (inspiration) and Wahy (revelation). According to the teachings of Islam, the source of all knowledge is Allah since knowledge and wisdom are two of the attributes of Allah who is „Alim and Hakim (Omniscient and All- Wise) (Islamic Journal Vol.

IV, 2004).

 

From the Islamic point of view, education is comprehensive involving not only the dissemination of knowledge but also the development of character and instilling of Islamic values in human being. In other words, the education which is referred to in the Holy Quran and Sunnah with their guidance and instructions is concerned with aspects of moral qualities in order to promote Akhlaq (morality) (Majid, 1982).

 

The possession of knowledge coupled with faith and practice are pre-requisites for Muslims (Maina, 1993:46). It is therefore imperative upon all believers to acquire knowledge of the religion, to have wisdom and possess deep intellectual knowledge as expressed in the following verse:

A similar (favour have you already received) in that we have  sent among you a messenger of your own, rehearsing to you  our signs and purifying you and instructing you in scripture  and wisdom and in new knowledge (Q.2:151)

 

The Islamic Religious Education (IRE) for secondary schools has been developed based on the two categories of knowledge in Islam, that is, for both spiritual and academic purposes. By the end of the course, the learner should be able to acquire knowledge, values and principles of Islam; emulate the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH); identify and observe the fundamental beliefs and practices of Islam; discharge all roles and responsibilities effectively as Allah‟s vicegerent on earth; recognize work as a form of Ibadah (worship of Allah);  state the wonders of Allah‟s creation and develop a sense of responsibility in managing the environment and acquire relevant skills and values to cope with issues and contemporary challenges facing the society (Ummah) (Nigeria Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) syllabus, 2008; Nyaga, 2004:20-22 ).

 

It can therefore be argued that IRE‟s primary goal is moral refinement and spiritual training (Maina, 1993:50). This is clearly reflected in the general objectives of the subject. IRE is inclined towards noble character building. As an academic subject, IRE has been very instrumental in developing the natural talents and personal skills of the students. By educational pursuit, students can maximize their academic potentials hence contribute to both individual and national development. There will also be self fulfillment by the student once employed. He or she may be able to carter for his or her socio-economic needs. They will no longer depend on their guardians or parents as had been the case before.

 

Since the introduction of IRE syllabus in the formal school curriculum in the 1970‟s, it has experienced many challenges, the major one being shortage of trained teachers to teach the subject (Maina,1993:302; Maina, 2003:252; Yahya, 2004:35; Mujahid, 2007:3). Subsequently, many schools with a substantial Muslim population do not offer IRE to their students. This has compelled many students willing to learn IRE to opt for CRE. The subject has moreover, inadequate teaching and learning resources. Recommended textbooks and other teaching and learning resource materials such as audio-visual aids are hardly available in schools and institutions of higher learning. Even in those schools where the books are stocked, they are sometimes inadequate in relation to the student‟s needs (Yahya, 2004:35; Khalif, 2004: 5; Mujahid, 2007:3).

 

The other challenge is that some teachers are not literate in basic Arabic and avoid teaching the Qur‟an and Hadith, the basic sources of Islamic Sharia (Islamic law).  There is also lack of capacity building and staff development programmes, yet training and in-service programmes form an integral part for quality curricula formulation, development, supervision and delivery (Khalif, 2004:4). This seems to be the situation in almost all districts in the country including Lagos which has both private and public Muslim sponsored schools. Inadequate trained teachers in IRE have adversely affected both the teaching and performance by learners in the subject in Lagos schools. Most parents in Lagos are ignorant about the IRE syllabus hence do not provide incentives and encouragement for the study of IRE by their children. Lack of interest and inability to purchase IRE learning resources by parents and guardians has greatly affected student‟s performance in the subject.

In addition, parents have no time to give adequate guidance in IRE (Yahya, 2004:33).

 

In Muslim sponsored schools in Lagos such as Kibra Academy, Muslim Academy and Wamy High School, IRE is compulsory to all students whereas in government (public) schools including Lenana High and Lagos School, where teachers are available, IRE is optional as per the curriculum. Teachers in private Muslim sponsored schools are poorly paid and therefore lack motivation in discharging their responsibilities. Conflicts over the management of some of the schools has adversely affected acquisition by learners of learning resources for IRE as well as other subjects (Yahya, 2004:31). Evidently, the challenges facing the teaching of IRE in secondary schools affect academic and spiritual formation of students.

This situation builds a case for the current study.

 

1.2 Statement of the Problem.

IRE is a subject that trains its students to devote their life and actions to Allah alone. Moreover, it teaches its students discipline showing them that acquisition of knowledge is not for material or world benefits alone but also for righteousness, spiritual, intellectual and moral development of the individual. By studying IRE, student‟s attitude to life, their actions, decisions and approaches to all kinds and branches of knowledge, are governed by precepts and tenets of Islam (Q. 3:110). This complements social and economic development of the learner.

In spite of the fact that IRE was introduced in the secondary school curriculum, its objectives have only been partially attained. In Lagos schools for instance, some of the teachers of IRE measure the attainment of IRE syllabus objectives by the grades obtained by learners in KCSE. This implies that they are mostly concerned with the academic aspects of the subject at the expense of moral and spiritual training. In some of the schools, students study IRE and prepare for exams on their own due to lack of IRE teachers. This has adversely affected the performance of some of these students in the subject. It is in light of the above that the researcher sought to examine the challenges of IRE on spiritual and academic formation of secondary school students in Lagos.

 

1.3 Research Objectives.

  1. To trace the historical development of secondary school IRE curriculum.
  2. To assess the significance of IRE in spiritual and academic formation of the students in secondary schools in Lagos.
  3. To identify and discuss the challenges of teaching IRE in secondary schools in

Lagos.

  1. To evaluate the role of Muslim organizations in the promotion of teaching of IRE in secondary schools in Lagos

1.4 Research Questions.

  1. How has IRE curriculum developed?
  2. Of what significance is IRE in the spiritual and academic formation of the students in secondary schools in Lagos?
  3. What challenges face the teaching of IRE in secondary schools in Lagos?
  4. What role do Muslim organizations play in the promotion of the teaching of IRE in secondary schools in Lagos

  

1.5 Research Premises
  1. The IRE secondary school curriculum has had a checkered history since its inception in the national curriculum.
  2. IRE has helped students in secondary schools in Lagos to develop spiritually, morally and academically based on the belief of Allah as expressed in the Quran and
  3. Lack of interest on the part of Muslims, poverty, negative attitude by students on the subject, inadequate trained teachers and resources are some of the challenges facing the teaching of IRE in Lagos secondary schools.
  4. Muslim organizations have significantly contributed to the growth and development of IRE in secondary schools in Lagos through the provision of bursaries, relevant literature, teachers, resource persons, seminars, workshops and conferences.

 1.6 Justification and Significance of the Study.

In Nigeria, no exhaustive study has been done on the challenges facing the teaching of IRE on spiritual and academic formation of secondary school students in Lagos. The existing literature by among others, Yahya (2004), Maina (1993) and Maina (2003) discuss generally, the challenges facing the teaching of IRE in secondary schools, colleges and universities. There is therefore the need to fill this gap.

It is hoped that the study will offer insights to curriculum planners and developers into the factors influencing IRE teaching in secondary schools in Lagos and the role played by the subject in spiritual and academic formation of the students. Therefore, the present study will hopefully contribute to knowledge in the field of Islamic Religious Education in secondary schools, tertiary and institutions of higher learning.

Field officers, that is, Quality Assurance and Standard Officers (QASO) and Teachers Advisory Centre (TAC) officers will benefit from the research which may enable them to develop significant policies regarding the teaching of IRE in secondary schools.

Various stakeholders may be sensitized by the findings of the study on the role played by Islamic organizations on IRE development in secondary schools in Lagos, especially in the provision of bursaries, learning resources including the hiring teachers of IRE.

 

1.7 Literature Review
1.7.1 Introduction

The review of the literature for the purpose of this study is classified into several areas: - There is literature on religious education by various scholars; teaching and learning processes; Muslim education in Nigeria before and after independence; challenges of teaching IRE; teaching of IRE in secondary schools in Nigeria and finally a conclusion has been drawn from the reviewed literature.

 

1.7.2 Religious Education

In religious orientation, the Koech report (2000), affirms that religious education provides the main avenue for religious instructions in educational institutions. The essence of Religious Education is the re-direction of individual life, from finite attachments to active love and devotion to God the creator, in a personal way. We should be devoted to serving God. This means that we should put more emphasis on religious aspects of life. The purpose of religious education is therefore, to impart in the learner the mental and spiritual capacity for reverence to God who is the foundation of all knowledge. Religious study, therefore, is an exposition of what is true, excellent and just.

 

The report further observes that Religious Education has been considered by religious organizations as not just another academic subject. It is a subject that has been expected to effect behavioral changes among the learners. As both an academic and spiritual subject, IRE is vital for the moral development and deepening of one‟s religious commitment in the Islamic faith. In this regard, the present study has evaluated the significance of IRE in spiritual and academic formation of the students in Lagos schools.

 1.7.3 Teaching and Learning Processes

Freire (1972) advocate for a type of education which would liberate the rural and the urban poor. He feels that, teaching and learning should not be separated. He states that schools should not be places where knowledge is merely transmitted from teachers to students but

„learning markets‟ where social values would be constantly re-made. Active participation in learning situation, facilitated by the teacher can help children to develop concepts and understanding of their world.

Schacht (1964) has outlined the use of good methods in an attempt to improve the teaching of religious education. The major methods which he has discussed are thematic approach, team teaching, model making and social service projects. Thematic approach is a method of teaching using themes or topics. For instance, a teacher may teach a topic such as saum (fasting) during the fasting period of the month of Ramadhan provided the syllabus is covered as required. Social service projects are practical and they enhance creativity and innovation. Team teaching is suitable at lower levels especially in primary schools or where resources are inadequate. In model making, students can reinforce their learning by coming up with good models through their teacher‟s guidance. For instance, they could model, AlKaaba with all the „points‟ for Hajj rites. This facilitates systematic and progressive conceptualization of the Hajj procedure and the retention of concepts by the learner since it is practical.

Evening (1974), Ombuna (1994), discuss the importance of life approach method in the teaching of RE and concur that it helps to combat the boredom experienced by learners in RE lessons. Awino (1986) also notes that a system of education which does not cater for the development of moral and spiritual values is an inadequate and imperfect preparation for life.

The present study explicitly shows how students could practically apply what they learnt in IRE to their daily life as opposed to studying the subject for academic purposes only.

 

1.7.4 Muslim Education in Nigeria

Maina (1993:75) has extensively discussed early Muslim educational institutions, methodology and their curriculum. He points out that the Quranic school was core to the academic life of the Muslims. It laid the foundation of acquisition of Islamic values. Children learned how to read the Quran and perform Swalah (Prayer) which is one of the five pillars of Islam. The other four are Zakat (alms), Saum (fasting in the holy month of Ramadhan) and Hajj (pilgrimage). The first one is Kalima (shahada) which is declaration to Islamic faith. By practicing what is expected of them by Islam, the children develop spiritually, morally, physically, intellectually and above all, socially. The present study has investigated the significance of IRE in moral training and character building of students in Lagos. It has also elaborately discussed the secondary IRE curriculum which has similar themes to those of Quranic school.

 

Further, the above scholar has also discussed the development of the madrasa system. The madrasa had an integrated curriculum of secular and religious subjects comprising history, mathematics, Arabic and Islamic religious subjects. It admitted boys who had completed Quranic school. Textbooks were used and modern methodology applied (Maina, 1993:158). This study has examined the historical development of IRE since its inception in the secondary school curriculum.

 

1.7.5 IRE in Secondary Schools

The secondary school IRE curriculum has been developed with the objective of enhancing spiritual and academic formation of the students. Most of its content is derived from the madrasa curriculum. This consideration was made because a wide range of Islamic subjects are offered in a madrasa. Muslim parents also recognize the importance of madrasa for the religious and moral training (Maina, 1993:180; Maina, 2003:254). Maina further argues that the role of madrasa surpasses that of IRE. As an academic subject, IRE is limited in scope regarding time allocation in school timetable, and therefore cannot substitute the entire content of religious and moral teachings offered in a madrasa (Maina, 1993:180; Maina, 2003:254).

 

Al-Afendi (1980) contends that Islamic religious curricular should aim at the inculcation of faith in the minds and hearts of the younger generation, the correction of morals and the spiritual identification of the soul. The objectives in these curricular also aim at acquisition of knowledge, the combination of knowledge and work, faith and morality and the practical application of theory in life. Individual responsibilities in life, towards the human community, their relationship to society, other creatures and universal phenomena, he observes, cannot be adequately realized without acquiring knowledge, building and developing it. The present study reveals that majority of the students study IRE for academic purposes only at the expense of spiritual formation.

The Young Muslim Association (YMA) Annual Report (1988) in a summary of the association‟s activities makes reference to the youth and Da‟awah programme under which the association is committed to guiding the youth to a better Islamic life and understanding and to equip them with knowledge to enable them to present Islam convincingly and confidently. The areas covered include lecture programme in schools and colleges, Islamic literature distribution, the bi-annual national youth seminar and the establishment of Muslim student‟s societies in schools. The lectures have greatly helped the students (youth) in aspects of morality and also the content presented by scholars from diverse institutions of learning boost their academic performance. This means that IRE has an influence on learner‟s academic formation.

The YMA is also involved in tackling problems affecting Muslim students in schools and colleges, such as giving bursaries (Getui, 1993:120). It is shown in this study how Islamic organizations have initiated programmes and activities geared towards improvement of the teaching of the subject in secondary schools in Nigeria and in Lagos in particular through provision of teachers, learning resources, bursaries and coordinating workshops and seminars.  This is significant for both academic and faith development.

1.7.6 Challenges of Teaching IRE

Gacegoh (1990) and Wainaina (1985) observe that some of the problems facing the teaching of CRE at primary school level are lack of textbooks and other learning resources. In addition, the subject is taught by teachers who may have inadequate experience and not all may have trained in religious education. The study has critically analyzed the relationship between the scholar‟s findings on the challenges of Religious Education with that of IRE specifically. The views of the above scholars regarding challenges facing the teaching of CRE have been used to examine the challenges facing the teaching of IRE in secondary schools in Lagos.

 

According to Maina (2003: 252) and Quraishy (1985) Religious Education was introduced as compulsory subject in the primary school curriculum when the 8-4-4 system of education was incepted in 1985. However, the government did not consider the personnel available to handle the religious subjects. While there were enough teachers to teach CRE, it was not the same for IRE. This shortage has forced many Muslims in non-Muslim schools where IRE is not offered to take up CRE. The present study shows the impact of the shortage of IRE teachers on the teaching and learning process. Quraishy (1985), Wainaina (1985) and Yahya (2004) concur that some difficulties faced in

Religious Education teaching stem from lack of proper training and shortage of qualified Religious Education teachers. Yahya (2004) contends that there is acute shortage of IRE teachers in Lagos secondary schools. He has outlined a few factors contributing to the shortage such as low and negative attitude of both parents and students towards the subject. The present study observes that one of the factors that challenge the teaching of IRE in secondary schools in Lagos is poverty. This is especially in schools within informal settlement areas such as Kibera. Most parents have financial constraints hence do not adequately cater for provision of learning resources.

Idrees (1977) outlines the general development of IRE in Nigeria. He comes  up  with   several  challenges  that  teachers  and  students  face  in the  teaching  and learning  of  IRE. He  contends  that  it  is  a  sad state  of  affairs  that  proper  Islamic  education  was  not  imparted  to  the  Muslim  youth during the colonial period.  He attributes this to financial constraints.  Poverty, he argues, has been the crux of Muslim problems. Muslim  students may not  attend  school  because  they  cannot  afford  to  pay  nominal  amount  such  as  school  fees.  This stems right from primary school to secondary school.

 

According to Idrees (1977) Muslim students cannot buy uniform for themselves and/or pay boarding fees. So they are either  sent away  or drop out  of the  course  due to   their  failure to meet  various  expenses  at  later  stages.  When  few  students  remain  in the  schools, some classes  are left  without  IRE  students  hence  it is  not taught. Students do not benefit from the moral training, hence fail to acquire the legal position of fardh „ain (knowledge of religious obligation).  The probable effect of this inadequacy in Lagos schools is low and negative attitude of students towards taking Islamic studies as a career subject both at college and university level. The issues discussed above by Idrees provide a case for the present study. Does the same situation still obtain especially in Lagos? This question has been addressed in this study.

The Kamunge Report (1988) has discussed the role played by private schools in the provision of quality secondary education. It also shows that poverty is an impediment to effective teaching of Religious Education. The present study has exhaustively discussed how poverty affects effective teaching and learning of IRE by learners in the slums and also identifies alternative measures, to be employed by parents to improve on the quality of education in private schools.

 

According to Mraja (2000) scarce reference books and journals on Islam especially in English has been a major constraint in offering many courses on Islam in tertiary institutions.

He further  explains  that  there  is  apparent  lukewarm  attitude  of the  Muslims towards  IRE  especially   in Secondary  schools  and  universities.  Majority of the students go for other disciplines in humanities and social sciences.  Perhaps  the  apparent  lack in  interest on Islamic studies is largely  a reflection  of the  fact that premium  in the labour market  is given  to  those  who  specialized  on  „sciences‟  and  „business‟  oriented  subjects  as opposed  to „arts‟. The present study shows that there is a remarkable growth of interest and change of attitude by students towards studying IRE.

According to Maina (2003:250), the acute shortage of IRE teachers could be illustrated by statistics. Data from National Union of Nigeria Muslims (NUKEM) indicated that due to shortage of IRE teachers, only 52 out of 200 primary schools in Lagos by 1995, could offer IRE. It was further noted that there was a shortfall of 300 IRE teachers in Lagos. The inadequacy cuts across all levels of institutions of learning. The study notes that there has been a remarkable increment of IRE teachers because of sponsorship by various Islamic organizations.

1.7.7 Conclusion

From the foregoing literature review, we can conclude that some scholars have broadly written on Religious Education and its role on moral training and spiritual development of the youth. A highlight on numerous challenges that teachers face while teaching the subject has been done and the remedy for some of these challenges, partly suggested. Various scholars have also written on IRE teaching in secondary schools including Lagos. However, their studies discuss the general challenges facing the teaching of IRE in secondary, college, and university levels. The current study has investigated the challenges of IRE on spiritual and academic formation of students in secondary schools in Lagos. It is hoped that this study has filled some gaps of knowledge in literature on IRE in secondary schools in Nigeria.

  

1.8 Conceptual Framework.

The framework of the study is based on concepts derived from the Holy Quran and Hadith. These concepts are based on various perspectives. The first perspective is that which states that Allah is the source of all knowledge. The Holy Quran encourages the pursuit of knowledge by all Muslims who are tullab, or seekers after knowledge. Education

(knowledge) is considered a condition of one‟s faith and Allah promises a lot of good rewards for those who seek it. The Quran says: „Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe and those who have been granted knowledge‟ (Q.58:11).

 

According to the Holy Quran, humankind‟s basic qualification for being the representative of Allah on earth is knowledge. When the angels questioned Adam‟s suitability for istikhlaf (representation), Allah cited Adam‟s ilm (knowledge) to convince them. True and proper iman (faith) can only arise from an intelligent and deep understanding of God‟s creation (Dollah, 2000:2). This is clearly brought out when students cover the theme Pre- Islamic Arabia or better known as Jahilliyya (the period of ignorance) before the advent of Islam as well as devotional Acts and akhlaq (morality).

A person‟s understanding of Islam and commitment to it are greatly dependent on the level of knowledge possessed by that person. Ignorance renders one‟s understanding of Islam poor, inadequate and even distorted and the chances of its proper implementation remote and narrow. Ignorance therefore, produces a brand of Muslims far removed from Islamic belief. That is why it is common to find students in some Lagos secondary schools indulging in vices such as gambling, drinking and crime (Yahya, 2004; Dolla, 2000). Hence, such deficiency in iman discourages originality, fights change and innovation in all fields and stands in the path of progress and advancement. This is because there is no total commitment to Allah‟s commandments.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says that „wisdom‟ (knowledge) is the lost property of the believer, whenever he finds it, he has a right to it (Sahih Bukhari, 2001, Vol.III: 83). This is a fundamental perspective because students focus on the objectives of IRE, with emphasis on the importance of acquisition of knowledge, values and principles of Islam. After realization of this noble goal, not only will students be employed by virtue of having taken IRE, some will also join the labour market through other related subjects so long as one is learned and meets the required qualification.

The second important perspective built on the Islamic concept of knowledge and education is that the Muslim moral obligation is to be a role model, a vivid example of honesty and perfection. He or she is to seek knowledge and virtue based on his or her fulfillment of the role of Khalifa (Q.2:30-34; 33:72). Every Muslim must strive to understand, appreciate and improve on their responsibilities to the creator, fellow creatures and oneself. Laxity on the part of some parents perhaps due to occupation, has led to their children joining the world of drugs and substance abuse. Some students in Lagos secondary schools have joined misleading peer groups who lead them to undesirable behaviour, therefore, the parent‟s role is very vital in providing incentives and encouragement and giving adequate guidance in education and career matters to their children.

The third perspective that forms the frame work for this study is that Islamic education should foster peace in the learner by helping him or her see and comprehend the divine message and manifestations of the attributes of Allah. A learner should acquire faith at every stage of his or her study thereby walk in the path of al-birr (righteousness), (Maina, 1993:58). Being at peace with Allah and the society at large is a guide for the students in the development of akhlaq. It is also a gateway to unity, cooperation and harmony in the society.

With such, the deviant students in secondary schools in Lagos would not engage in drugs.

They would instead commit themselves in productive work and even join study groups for revision in order to boost their performance in IRE and other subjects.

 

1.9 Scope and Limitation

The researcher was confined to secondary schools and not primary schools. This was because the secondary school IRE curriculum was the first to be developed, approved and piloted in 1973 before the primary school one.

The study depended heavily on the questionnaires especially in gathering data from students, IRE teachers, curriculum planners and developers and directors of Islamic organizations. The field survey coincided with fasting in the month of Ramadhan, as a result in some schools; the researcher left the questionnaires after administering to students to fill in their own free time with arrangements to collect them later. This was coordinated by the subject teacher. However, some were either lost or misplaced.

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