CHALLENGES OF EDUCATIONAL PURSUIT AND SELF-RELIANCE
By Yusuf Abdullahi Kano
The Education Committee of the Islamic Movement, popularly known in Hausa as Lajnar Tarbiyyah da Ilmantarwa, was established and mandated by Sheikh el-Zakzaky (H), to oversee the educational and related activities within the Movement. To its credit were various multifaceted symposia and capacity building programmes meant to improve the socio-economic well being of the society. Members of the committee were chosen on merit bearing their Profession and long standing experience.
The recent programme, convened between 22nd and 23rd of July, was opened with a short remark by Yusuf Abdullahi, who spoke on behalf of the Chairman, Malam AbdulRahman Abubakar Yola, who was sick and unavoidably absent. After outlining the committe mandates to the participants, he cited examples with Yaumul Ilm, an annual event observed to appraise educational status with a view to improving the field, teachers capacity building workshops and Hajj conferences. He said, the rationale behind the 2-day seminar was to extend students' capacity utilisation and human resource management at all levels. The idea was to acquaint students of foreign universities with the Nigerian changing environment, improve their ambassadorial disposition, and to a great extent liaise and coordinate their hitherto internship in the country. Themed, capacity utilisation: interactive sessions with students of foreign universities, with lead presentation on Students of Foreign Universities: Values, Responsibilities and Expectations of the Society. The lead presenter, Malam Ibrahim Akeel from Zaria started with the relevance of the seminar stressing the need for a broadened scope in knowledge acquisition for the multifaceted needs of the society. Unlike the decades long tradition in Zaria, the grand city of knowledge where focus was hardly on more than two disciplines like jurisprudence, versatile acquisition will provide more viable opportunities for the region as a whole. He advised the students to be more patient, accommodating and concerned on the plight of IMN stressing the need to impart the knowledge learnt to promote the society. He also drew their attention on the need to be good ambassadors of IMN wherever they find themselves, as the Shaikh always reiterates.
On his part as the first discussant, Shaikh Hamza Imam, from Al-Mustafa International University, Iran, analysed the trend of scholarship in terms of duration and discipline before and after 2007 where the post developed relatively longer and more specialized scholarship. As part of the development, he raised the issue of mass media where the advanced level students are involved in the propagation exercise in some satellite stations especially al-Wilayah and al-Hadi respectively. He dwelt more on the moral aspects of the Ahlul-bait school with regard to ethics whose significance cannot be overemphasized. Finally he reiterated the points raised by the presenter as very paramount for students' reflection as a whole.
The second discussant was Professor Isah Hasan, an erudite scholar from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. With an academic approach, he redefined values from literal and technical perspectives stressing the known Islamic ethics which are judiciously human and adoptable irrespective of spatiotemporal tendencies. He evaluated the perception and development of values as influenced by belief, culture and geography. On the context of the discourse, the professor linked the values with the responsibilities in apparent capacity development, hence the expectations which he insisted to be of the Islamic Movement, as members, rather than the society which he described as decaying. He said, the IMN is inevitably part of the global Islamic Movement. As such the values should be Islamic, and the more one develops such values the more Islamic he or she becomes living in accordance with ideals behind creation, proving more relevant and beneficial to humanity. Notwithstanding the multifaceted study demands on the students, the don urged them to focus well on their studies and remain committed to the goals of the Movement. After the session, the floor was opened for participants where few points were raised before the session paused for prayers and dinner.
The topic for the night was educational Systems at a glance, where some countries were used as study cases. The floor was opened with the presentation of Dr. Nura Ahmad Azare, Chairman of the Fudiyyah Management Committee. He briefed the participants on the rationale behind the establishment of Fudiyyah Schools which is hoped to imbibe in its pupils broad based knowledge and the spirit for Islamic values and ideals. He carried the participants on the schools' historic ladder with sampled achievements in moral and academic excellence, in some recognised states' and National students competitions. Three other speakers guided the participants through a comparative educational tour in Sudan, Ghana, Lebanon and Iran. The trends viewed were mainly seminary. Few questions were responded to by the speakers after the session. Some universities in Niger, Burkina, Uganda and China were not studied for reasons related to time.
The topic on day 2 was, Students of Foreign Universities: Career Prospects and Challenges in Nigeria by Malam Nuruddeen Musa Mafara. With his professional background and versatile experience in relevant organisation, the speaker highlighted the topic with what he described as the need for sincere educational pursuit as a necessary tool for societal development. He said education should be sought not for job opportunities or other mundane purposes but for Allah and service to humanity. He shared with the audience his vast know how on the technicalities of cooption or assimilation with our educational system after their studies for job or other postgraduate studies. He stressed the need to be enterpreunal to cope with Nigerian economic recession after study. The topic attracted many questions and comments which were very enlightening.
In his closing remark, the special guest, Shaikh Yakub Yahya Katsina started with the significance of knowledge acquisition citing examples with paramount role and legacies of some indigenous scholars like Shaikh Abdullahi Siqa and Shaikh Abdullahi Gwandu who were hailed for unparalleled scholarship, sincerity and piety across the world. He cited example with a book authored by Shaikh Abdullah which is taught and used as recognised educational material in Azhar University of Egypt. While lauding the efforts of the students in various universities, he urged them to remain committed in their educational pursuit and cooperate with the Lajna for the benefit of IMN and the society in general. He also drew their attention on the need to come up with strategies to mobilize the generality of brothers on scholarship expressing dismay on their laziness in the field.
Malam Magaji from University of Maiduguri, Dr. Nalado and Dr. Rogo of Bayero University, Kano and Shaikh Sunusi AbdulKadir among others played significant role to the success of the seminar. Malam Muhammad Isa, Member and chair of the Fudiyyah Management Committee in Kano delivered the vote of thanks.
It is imperative to stress the fact that education is the foundation for all developments. Therefore, all hands must be on deck to achieve the desired objectives. Notwithstanding the decades long of the earlier Fudiyyah Lajna, the significance of the latter cannot be overemphasized as issues surrounding education are very sensitive, herculean and multifaceted in nature. We can be very optimistic with the calibre of those mandated with the assignment, provided we play our relevant role in terms of moral and financial supports.