Sheikh Dr Haroon Zagoon-Sayeed, Executive Secretary, Baraka Policy Institute (BPI), has urged Muslims to invest in establishing an educational system that could provide their children holistic education.
This, he said, would help create the opportunity for Muslim children to have education that gives skills, knowledge and value.
He said, “as Muslims we must always remember that we have something to do which is to establish an educational system that can develop our children with holistic education. Education that gives skills, knowledge and value, because without values we cannot achieve our aims in life.”
Dr Zagoon-Sayeed made the call at climax of the 62nd annual national conference of the Ghana Muslim Mission (GMM) in the Beposo Sekyere Central District of the Ashanti Region.
The three-day conference was on the theme: “Holistic education, the key to the development of Islam and Ghana”, was among other things aimed at raising funds towards the building of hostels, and lecture rooms for the Ghana Muslim Mission College of Education in Beposo.
Dr Zagoon-Sayeed said establishing a Muslim College of Education was important to train more teachers, who would in turn inculcate the true teachings and values of Islam into the children.
“Although it is the responsibility of parents to train their children in the religion, most of the training also comes from schools. As a religious people we cannot do without values, and so we must invest in schools that will provide good values for our children.”
Dr Eric Opoku, Director General Ghana Education Service, said government was committed to providing holistic Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), education for children, because a country in recent times could only survive when it takes STEM education seriously.
He commended the GMM for the immense contribution to Ghana’s education sector and the initiative to establish a college of Education that would cater for the holistic needs of Muslims in the country and assured of governments continuous support towards this course.
“I urged all to donate generously towards this course, so that the Mission will be able to realize the targeted amount to support their planned infrastructural development project.”
Sheikh Dr Amen Bonsu, National Chairman of the GMM, said the founders of the GMM in 1957 aimed at reviving and reforming the Muslim society with the combination of Western and Islamic education, as well as establishing a standardized organizational and administrative structure- in a bid to partner government on developmental issues.
He said the Mission currently has about 165 schools at all levels across the where children have their education filled with the fear of God and moral codes for them to become patriotic and more responsible citizens.
He noted that aside investing in educational infrastructure across the country, the GMM also provides scholarships for the poor, needy, orphans, widows, and people with disabilities, provide healthcare to the sick, provides boreholes and Mosques to deprived communities, as well as social amenities, undertake ‘Daw’ah’ programmes and ensure the general well-being and the civil rights of Muslims and non-Muslims.
Sheikh Bonsu noted that the annual conference was also to bring Muslims together to learn more about Islam and our spiritual upliftment, engage in congregational prayers, listen to sermons, and attend lectures, Quaranic recitation, and to take stock of the GMM’s performance as an organization, thus far.
He was hopeful that at the end of the conference the Mission would be able to raise the targeted amount towards the building of the hostels, and lecture rooms for the College of Education, and entreated everyone to donate generously towards this project for manifold rewards
The National Chairman commended government through the Zongo Development fund for their support towards the development of the Mission’s Schools and appealed for more support in terms of school buses and construction of dormitory blocks, dining Halls, auditorium, and scientific laboratory equipment.
“We have done our best in putting up a College of Education, but we need the Government to adopt and support it. Doing this will be a big step in helping Muslims in Ghana realize their dreams of having a government supported College of Education that teaches and certifies professional teachers as well as teachers of Arabic language.”
Sheikh Bonsu noted that the current situation where Arabic was an examinable subject at the JHS and SHS levels is a blessing, however, having more certified professional Arabic teachers has become a big issue in our educational system.
“It is for these reasons that our call to the Government to adopt our College of Education could not have come at a better time.”
He commended all active Muslims who have made the Ghana Muslim Mission a formidable organization especially the National, Regional, District and Branch Executive Officers, Council of Elders, the Council of Imams, and the entire members.
Some dignitaries at the climax of the conference include the Omanhene of the Beposo Traditional Council Nana Boama Kwabi IV, Member of Parliament for Nsuta Kwamang Beposu Counstituency, Madam Adelaide Ntim, National Imam of the GMM Sheikh Haruna Nkansah Agyekum, and the Ashanti Regional IUmam, Sheihk Abdul Mumeen Haroun.