The former Greater Accra Regional Manager of the Islamic Education Unit (IEU) of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu, has called for reforms in the management of Islamic schools in the country.
For instance, he said, the current system where the Council of Islamic Schools composed of only school proprietors did not allow for inclusiveness and community involvement in the running of the schools.
He suggested that other professionals and Muslim leaders should be included in the councils to enrich decision making processes and encourage community ownership of the schools.
Sheikh Armiyawo made the call at the launch of a book titled:"Islamic Learning, the State and the Challenges of Education in Ghana," in Accra last Saturday.
The 230-page book traces the trajectory of Islamic education in Ghana based on the factual accounts of Islamic scholars.
It also captures the current state of Islamic education and highlights some contemporary challenges facing Islamic schools in the country.
The book was written by three researchers - Dr David Owusu-Ansah, Mr Abdulai Iddrisu and Mr Mark Sey - after a series of interviews with Islamic scholars and field visits to some Islamic schools.
Sheikh Armiyawo said insufficient funding was one of the major challenges hindering the development of Islamic schools in the country.
He said government funding to Islamic schools was not enough to cater for the running of the schools and develop the needed classrooms and offices.
Sheikh Armiyawo, therefore, charged heads of Islamic schools to come up with innovative ways of raising revenue to administer the schools.
Touching on the relevance of the book, Sheikh Armiyawo said distortions in historical recordings could give rise to wrong perceptions, prejudice and needless conflicts.
Therefore, he said, the book, which was painstakingly composed by the researchers, "will enlighten Muslims and non-Muslims educators about the trajectory of Muslim education in Ghana."
Focus on sciences
The Managing Director of Stanbic Bank, Mr Alhassan Andani, who chaired the function, urged Muslims to incorporate science and technology in Islamic education.
That, he said, was crucial to develop the potential of Muslim students and empower them economically.
The Vice-President of the Islamic University College, Ghana (IUCG), Dr Nasser Gamal Adam, who reviewed the book, described it as masterpiece that had thrown more light on Islamic education in the country.
The lead author, Dr David Owusu-Ansah, said the book was an attempt to capture the trajectory of Islamic education in Ghana and highlight the challenges with the view to finding solutions to them.