Mr. Mohammed Amin Adam, Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) has appealed to Muslim leaders to concentrate on the provision of school infrastructure to improve the education of Muslim children particularly the girl-child.
He said monies that were channelled into the provision of mosques in almost every Muslim community in the country could now be shifted into building of educational infrastructure just as the Christian Religious bodies were doing, to improve education in Muslim communities.
Mr. Adam made the appeal at the first graduation ceremony of 37 apprentices of Jamaatul-Masjidul Bayan Al-Khairiya, a Muslim Vocational Institute in Tamale on Saturday.
The institute trains the underprivileged in tailoring, batik tie and dye, and carpentry with sponsorship from some Muslim clerics and philanthropists to improve the lives of children in Muslim communities.
The programme was on the theme: "Bringing happiness to the underprivileged" and also sought to showcase what the Muslims could do to help develop their communities.
Mr. Adam called for a closer collaboration between Muslim leaders and donor agencies to understand that education was key to development and to continue funding Muslim development projects, including the provision of school infrastructure.
Sheikh Ibrahim Basha, Proprietor of the institute said the poverty levels in the country particularly in Muslim communities were so alarming that the government alone could not alleviate it but with the help of individual groups such as the Muslim Community, hence the programme.
He said the various conflicts and gross indiscipline in the Northern Region were partly due to youth unemployment and that offering the youth with employable skills and the equipment to start with would help solve the problems.
Sheikh Basha said many people were shying away from vocational training and stressed its relevance in Islam adding, "Our Christian brothers have been doing well in this direction. It is now time for Muslim leaders to take up the challenge to give Islam its rightful meaning".
He appealed to Muslim parents to enroll their wards, especially Junior Secondary School leavers who could not make it to Secondary schools into vocational institutes to improve their standard of living.
He appealed to the Tamale Metro Assembly and the Northern Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to help in the expansion and improvement of the training centre, training materials and tools and money to help the graduands to start on their own.
Hajia Fati Seidu, General Manager of the Islamic Education Unit in Tamale, appealed to Muslim parents to be more concerned about the education of the girl-child and should invest in them.
She expressed concern about the low level of enrolment of Muslim girls in schools and called for a radical transformation to reverse the trend and advised that Muslim children should be provided with basic education needs.
Hajia Seidu said, gone were the days when the Muslim woman was to only groom children and remain in the kitchen and pleaded with parents not to give up their daughters for early marriage but should be concerned about their education.
She advised the graduands to use their experience and train their relatives and friends so that they could also earn a living.
All the graduands were given training tools to establish their own shops in their various areas to eke out a living.
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