Tamale, March 13, GNA - Ghana's first Islamic University, Rashiddiya in Tamale, has started functioning with the admission of 30 pioneering students, including two females.
They have started the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree programmes, the president of the university, Imam Hussain Rashid announced at the launch of fund-raising activities for the university on Sunday.
An appeal for donations yielded seven million cedis with pledges for building materials worth four million cedis as well as 8,000 pieces of cement blocks and a cheque for five million cedis.
Imam Rashid said the university, when fully functional, will be offering 80 per cent science courses so that by the next 20 years it would be able to produce enough Muslim scientists, engineers and medical officers to promote the teachings of the Koran.
The course outline of the university will include general agriculture, medicine and engineering. Imam Rashid stressed the need for parents to chart the future of their children in science based education.
He said it is becoming increasingly difficult for the government alone to continue to provide all the educational needs of the country. Muslims should therefore redouble their efforts to contribute towards the development of more facilities for secular education.
Dr (Mrs) Zenabu Kaleem, a senior research officer of the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute at Nyankpala and head of the academic board of the new university, proposed the setting up of an endowment fund to accelerate Muslim education.
Dr Kaleem said the establishment of the university is to offer Muslim youth the opportunity of gaining admission to the established universities. Dr Sulemana Jageie, vice principal of the Pong-Tamale Veterinary College and a lecturer at the university, said it intends to organise intensive professional training courses in agriculture, business and enterprise development to sharpen the entrepreneurial skills of the students.
He said the university will generate funds for academic services from the international community through dissemination of research findings. It also expects donations from affiliated universities.
Dr Y. Seidu Pelga, lecturer at the Faculty of Arts and Science of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology chaired the function.