Group urges FG, NASS to provide more support for NBAIS

A group, Concerned Northern Forum, has urged the Federal Government and  other stakeholders to offer more support for the National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS).

The Spokesperson of the group, Abdulsalam Kazeem, made the appeal at a press briefing on Tuesday in Kaduna.

Kazeem said that the support would enable NBAIS to effectively harmonise the teaching of Islamic education with the modern school system.

He said that this would properly harmonise and give directions to the study of Arabic and Islam studies in the country.

The group spokesman added that the NBAIS was an important organisation in the country mandated to conduct examinations not only in Arabic and Islamic Studies but also in all Arts and Science subjects.

“This is a very big opportunity for the entire education system as it offers yet another option for taking the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations,” he added.

Kazeem said that the harmonisation of the teaching of Arabic and Islamic Studies would also help correct some blasphemous interpretations of the Qur’an and the problem of extremism.

“The need for Nigeria to pay more attention to NBAIS which promotes the teaching and learning of Arabic has become sacrosanct.

“Already, UNESCO, during its 190th Executive Board Session adopted a decision to celebrate 18th December of every year as World Arabic Language Day.

“A day set aside for the promotion of multilingualism and cultural diversity, as well as the role played by the Arabic language in safeguarding and dissemination of human civilization and culture.

“The decision by UNESCO recognises the need to implement more wide-ranging cooperation between people through multilingualism, cultural rapprochement and dialogue among civilisations.

“This is more pertinent in Nigeria where our cultural diversity has often been a source of disunity than unity, where our religious differences are often exploited negatively by selfish persons especially during elections,” he added.

According to him, a sound knowledge and understanding of Arabic will curtail misunderstandings and create cordial and beneficial relationships, especially between adherents of Islam and other religions.

He commended the Registrar of NBAIS, Prof. Mohammad Abdullahi for taking the board to lofty heights.

He cited the establishment of the Centre for Tsangaya and General Studies by the board, saying it would serve as centre of excellence for teachers and tutors of Tsangaya education all over the country.

He noted that the centre combined conventional schooling with skill acquisition and entrepreneurship education.

The spokesperson said this innovative agenda would equip and empower Nigerian youths and take them off the streets, especially children from economically disadvantaged homes, who often end up as destitute.

“There are bound to be issues plaguing the revitalised and revived NBAIS.

“We therefore call on the federal government to look into the many challenges of the Board in areas of staffing, mobility and the procurement of furniture and comfortable office accommodations throughout the country.

“No sacrifice is too much for the development of education, because a sound education translates to the development of a nation.

“At a time like this that Nigeria is determined to reform the almajiri system of education, all hands must be on deck to make it a success,” he said.

Kazeem also appealed for the passage of the NBAIS establishment Bill, which has passed first and second reading in the House of Representatives.

“In calling for the speedy passage of the bill, we equally call on the National Assembly to increase budgetary allocations to NBAIS to enable it deliver more on its mandate,” he added.

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