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Stats: 16,667 members, 64,008 Topics, 14,556 Comments. Date: March 24, 2019, 6:06 pm

Adeyemi Adejoke
Ebonyi State University (EBSU)
400Level, Nigeria.

The Centre for Qur’anic Studies, Bayero University Kano (BUK) has graduated its pioneer students, among them the first ever batch of women graduands nationwide.

The two categories of students were graduated at a ceremony on Saturday, July 28. The graduands in the first group, who constituted the majority, were given Advanced Qur’an certificates each while the second category, who were 20 in number, were given the ‘Ijazah’ certificates each.

Interestingly, women were among the graduands who earned the ‘Ijazah’, which gave them the opportunity to learn to recite the Holy Qur’an by heart and also teach, an official said.

Daily Trust looked into the centre, reasons for its establishment, being the first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa and its mode of operation.

The centre was established in 2014 under the vice chancellorship of Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, now Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC).

The aim of the centre is to promote practical approach to the study of the Qur’an and enhance the relevance of its teaching in modern society. The centre also aimed to serve as a think-tank to articulate the desired policy direction of the ‘Tsangaya’ school system, integrate its programmes with the National Education Policy and realign the schools to be more relevant and responsive to the needs and aspirations of the Muslim community and the larger Nigerian society.

The director of the centre, Dr Muhammad Babangida Muhammad, said the idea of establishing the centre was borne out of concern about numerous issues and problems confronting Islamic education in Nigeria, particularly those related to the misunderstanding and misappropriation of the teachings of the Qur’an, the Almajiri that roamed the streets without their basic needs addressed and not even able to get the Qur’anic knowledge that they were seeking and eventually becoming nuisance to the society.

“This is of great concern to government, scholars and all concerned citizens of Nigeria. So, the then vice chancellor, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, and his lieutenants, like the present vice chancellor, Professor Muhammad Yahuza Bello, realized that there was need for organized, well-focused and intellectually driven studies, so as to contain the aforementioned problems,” he added
Dr Babangida added that Qur’anic Education had been the central focus of Islamic Education prior to colonialism, but it is now relegated to the background even in the Muslim communities.

“Qur’anic readers were developed to be leaders in various forms, as judges, as court clerks, secretaries to the Emirate councils and so on. They were part of the civil service so to speak. But when colonialism came, it replaced Islamic education with what is known as Western education, and those that are regarded as educated are only those that have certificates of Western education,” he stated
The director said it was felt that if the sharp divide is allowed to continue, it will not auger well for the nation. “There must be a way of integrating these two systems, so that we can have a way of transforming these children (Almajirai) and their teachers positively, so that they can contribute to the educational, socioeconomic and political development of the nation,” he said
The centre was thus established and it focuses centrally on research, documentation and training.

On the issue of research and documentation, the director said “We conduct research into Qur’anic education. We have great scholars in Nigeria who wrote many great books and they wrote so many copies of the Qur’an by heart, but they were not known like their peers from other countries because they were not properly documented.

“We conduct research on their works, translate their manuscripts and document them so that they would contribute and enrich Islamic scholarship in the country,” he stated.

On the training, the centre brought Islamic scholars and students in a formal setting like a university to improve their scholarship and boost their confidence so that they can make meaningful contributions to the development of society.

As for students who graduated last week, the first group of 200 students studied for eight months. They were given the Advanced Qur’an certificate. The second category, with a total of 23 students spent a year out of which 20 obtained Certificate of Ijazah each; the remaining three were yet to complete their studies.

“This Certificate of Ijazah in some countries is equivalent to a degree certificate even though it is not made that way here,” the director has said

It is noteworthy to mention that there were female students among the Ijazah trainees and according to the director, it was the first time in Nigeria that women were given Ijazah certificate which means they are qualified to teach the Holy Qur’an anywhere in the world.

There are also provisions for members of the university community, academic and non-academic staff as well as students, to enroll either as beginners, intermediate or advanced students to study at the centre depending on their level of Qur’anic education.

The centre had also designed series of capacity building workshops and seminars targeted at local Qur’anic teachers (Alaramma), Qur’anic/Islamiyya teachers and other relevant groups.

Source: https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/women-obtain-buk-s-qur-anic-teaching-certificate-264960.html

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