Mangochi Muslims Nullifies Mai Aisha Trust’s School Plan

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    The thing which some people might describe as ungrateful, Muslims from Somba Village T/A Bwananyambi in Mangochi have asked Mai Aisha Trust organisation to reverse its decission and make sure that the school which it constructed in the area, is for both boys and girls.

    Mai Aisha Trust has constructed standard 1-4 Islamic junior primary school in the area of which according to its plans, it is supposed to be for boys only.

    But, speaking at the community mobilizing function that the organization held yesterday in the area, members of the community expressed their disagreement with the decision saying it is “unfair” and it is just imed at punishing young girls.

    “When we heard that this school is going be opened in our area, we all had a hope that our children will have access to education.  So, if you say only boys are allowed to learn here, then what about these young girls, where are they going to learn? We want this school to be for both boys and girls and not only for boys,” said one woman amid ululations from her colleagues.

    “These are young kids who don’t know anything which we think they can do. Moreover, the school is just only for standard 1–4 pupils. Why should we punish girls?” she asked.

    In his response, Mai Aisha Trust director Br. Abdul-azziz Yassin assured the concerned community that his organisation will consider the request after consulting his colleagues.

    “Your request has been taken into consideration but as you know that this school was built by Muslims who do not want boys and girls to be mixed, it may be tough to take it but I will still try to address the matter to the owners and we will tell you the way forward,” said Br. Yassin.

    “Teachers will be arriving any day from today but my appeal to all of you is that you have to encourage your children to go to school and not rush into marriages and make sure that this property is being taken care of. It is everyone’s responsibility to do that,” he said.

    The director also assured the people in the area that they will construct two more blocks to make it full primary school and that if the chance will be there, a community day secondary school will born soon.

    Meanwhile, chief Somba said he will ask his community to mould some more bricks to make the job of extending blocks and construction of the secondary school easier.

    Mai Aisha Trust is an independent, national and non-profit making organization established in 2002. The purpose is to empower rural communities to improve their living conditions through different programs.

    Realising that education is a key to development in an society, it is from this background that Mai Aisha Trust attaches great importance in ensuring that less privileged communities have access to quality education in the rural areas.

    With financial support from IDB, Mai Aisha Trust constructed two blocks of two classrooms each and administration block including health centre in the area.

    12 COMMENTS

    1. Good development, may the Almighty Allah reward the Mai Aisha Trust in abundance. The concerns of the people in the village should be taken into consideration, I think by educating only boys and leaving the other side neglected in that way it'll be a some kind of favor. Yes of course the mixture of boys and girls in one class may pose a threat to these kids as far as our religion is concerned, Mai Aisha Trust should think otherwise in order to put to rest the concerns of the residence. It is more shameful to us Muslim boys to see our Muslim girls failing to write even their name just because they were not given that chance of attending basic education due to unavailability of seperate classrooms. From my humble point of view, if Mai Aisha Trust can't manage to come up with seperate classes for girls, then mixture of both boys and girls would be the only solution to this situation, and I don't think Deen has a different opinion on that. And Allah knows best.

      • Since the community is prepared to mould more bricks for another block, let them mould extra bricks for the girls block. Pliz empower the girl child, she is sidelined from a lot of developmental changes.

    2. Bravo Mai Aisha Trust, good development, we need more of such schools. I pray that your plans to extend the school and construct a Community day Secondary School materialise, insha Allah.

      However, I personally find the community's concerns valid.

    3. As far as the current education situation of muslims is concerned in Malawi then i think it could have been better if this primary school WAS ONLY FOR GIRLS and not for boys. I know other people may have some objections to my opinion, but still if you analyse the situation of muslims in Malawi you will find out that we have a veeeeeeeeeeeery biiiig gaaap in education btwn boys and girls. And another thing is; we muslims do separate our kids from the early stages to make them get used to this behaviour once they grow up.

      “These are young kids who don’t know anything which we think they can do…" said a concerned lady. My psychology lecturer taught us that kids come to know or realise about sexual behaviour from early stages=(the research was done by a non-muslim, so it is bound to severe rejection from brothers and sisters but i deliberately included it in my comment). But of those who are over 10 years of age then it islamically haraam to mix these kids because of the hadeeth

      "Order your children to pray when they are seven years old. And spank them [to exhort them] to do it by the age of ten and separate them in their bedding."(Recorded by Abu Dawud and Ahmad. Al-Albani has graded it hasan. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 2, p. 1021),

      So be careful .

      ONCE AGAIN I THINK IT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER IF THIS SCHOOL WAS FOR GIRLS ONLY

    4. The problem here is that Mai Aisha never consulted the community. When we take development to a community it is for that community. It is advisable to discuss your plans with the community before you implement them. Or is the organisation's policy to force what what it wants to the populance? Let the community feel they are part of it and that way they will participate in its running. And Br. Abdul-azziz you say "as you know that this school was built by Muslims who do not want boys and girls to be mixed, it may be tough to take it but I will still try to address the matter to the owners". Who are the owner? The community were the school is, are the owners and you and your bosses are just facilitators. It you want ownership build it in your towns and not here in our comunity. Next time consult the community before implementing the project. Ameen

    5. Thanks Mai Aisha Trust, but please listen; the community gave their ancestral land entirely for free because they wanted the facility to benefit them. Why go behind their backs and say "the owners…", which owners? You grabbed the land free of charge and now you say there are "owners" outside there apart from the community? Give the villagers what they want otherwise buy it from them at commercial land rates and then you can do what you want.

    6. Its a good developement in the area but also concerns raised needs to be considered because young girls are likely to be taken away from education system particularly in our villages.Empower agirl child as well.All in all thumbs up Mai Aisha Trust.

    7. mine comment is not whether they are right or wrong.one weakness that need to be addressed by all organisations when undertaking such projects is that of involving the community concerned from the onset of the project.that way the community will feel part and parcel of the project and therefore will feel they own the project.hence they will nurture the project since they will have that feeling that they contribute.always get the views of the community on the project.sit down with them and dialogue on the best way to proceed with such projects.

      May Allah reward the Mai Aisha Trust for their good works in Islam.Ameen

    8. I have seen the goodnees of consultation (shura) here. Brilliant ideas!!! Provided they are within the teachings of our Deen. May Allah bless all of you!!!

    9. I want to commend the chief and his people for voicing out their needs. I may be made to believe that Mai Aisha Trust may not have engaged the people into the process of choosing and prioritizing their community needs first before embarking into the project. But now that people have spoken the only thing Mai Aisha may do now is to accept the people's demands and fulfill their wishes.

      Indeed even in the policies of government today the education of the girl child is encouraged. And coming to our society, the Muslim community, there are very few Muslim women who are in high profile positions: how many Muslim women medical doctors do we have (I know of 1), how many Muslim Lawyers do we have (I know of my niece only who just completed her studies from Zanzibar University), how many Muslim women in the Financial sector……the list goes on. We need to encourage our young girls to go to school and Mai Aisha Trust through its donors are well placed to complement the desires of our Muslim communities promoting the Muslim girl child education.

      Bravo the people from Somba village! Bravo Mai Aisha Trust!

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