Secondary schools that are run by Islamic Organizations continue performing poorly in terms of sending students into the Public University.
In the just released selection of students admitted into the Public University, out of 2000 students that have been selected to pursue different programmes, only 19 students have been selected from all Islamic secondary schools.
With this development it means the number of students from schools run by Islamic organizations has significantly dropped because last year 25 students which were admitted , a thing which inevitably is a big blow to the Muslim community in regard to attainment of higher education.
Meanwhile Muslim Alumni Society secretary Cassius Chidonthe has described the scenario as a wakeup call for all Islamic organizations in the education sector to engage in a collective assessment.
“This is counterproductive we cannot progress as a community with this failure.
Personally I feel it’s time for these organizations to see if they are really progressing, the policies that we are using in the education system are they really helping and surely an investigation really needs to be done to identify the problem. Is it the policies which we are using or the students themselves?
“There could be a combination of several factors of which one of them is competition which apparently is very stiff-this means that these schools are not able to survive in this world of competition. We have seen other schools that are non Islamic sending up to 20 students from a single school to the university. Therefore what this means is that all the Secondary schools run by Muslim organizations are not even able to beat one non-Islamic school-this is very bad.” He stated.
Chidonthe who is also one of the country’s top attorneys said the other problem that is leading to this problem is the way these schools are being administered.
“The only way to do well in a market is looking on how our friends are operating. Therefore by developing policy you should not just think on how such a policy will work out, but there is a need to go to the market and see how is colleagues are doing it and then borrow a leaf from them.”
Meanwhile one of the organizations that operate secondary schools in the country Munazzamat Dawa Islamic MDI has since said this year’s selection is very disappointing as the organization was expecting the number to be increasing.
MDI’s Project Officer Jazim Msosa has since said this should be a concern to all Muslims in the country.
Most of the schools which are run by this organization performed badly in as far as sending students to the Public Universities is concerned with Assalaam boys despite having 17 students sitting for the University Entrance Examinations only one has made the grade.
But just like last year Dedza Girls Lilongwe Boys Islamic Schools have contributed a big number of students with the former Producing six while the latter managed to produce 7 students who made the grade.
Mama Khadja academy and Zomba High school managed to produce two students each with one student considered from Assalaam girls school. The rest did not manage to produce send a single student to the public University.
Meanwhile Msosa has brushed aside the suggestion that the schools are failing to nurture students in order for them to get a place in the public University.
Since Government started issuing accreditation to Private Universities in the country, there has been mushrooming of these higher learning facilities with faith groups in forefront of establishing these institutions. But unfortunately with several reported efforts, up to now the Muslim community is yet to have its own entity.
“I don’t agree with that because those students sitting for the UEE scored equally good points hence sitting for those examinations. There is a need for all stakeholders to sit down and see where the problem is as soon as possible. There is Lack of preparation in terms of the students themselves hence the need to establish coaching classes before the entry examinations are sat. I think that will help because it gives a picture to the students what they are expected to face in such crucial examinations.
Msosa then said the current scenario requires an immediate establishment of an Islamic University.
“There is a need for us to have one (University) because we have many students who are not been admitted at the university so the stakeholders need to sit down and forge the way forward in solving this challenge.”Msosa said
Currently Muslims who fail to get into the University of Malawi turn to scholarships that are provided by Islamic Zakaat Fund IZF and other organizations.
“Those attaining higher education in Sudan and Zanzibar are just small compared to those that are left helpless. But if we can a have university it will assist a lot by enrolling a lot of deserving students who are not being admitted at the public facility” He said.
Meanwhile Msosa said his organization is holding meetings with other stakeholders, partners including donors to see on what they can do in regard to establishing the university quickly.
Chidonthe concurred with Msosa by saying that “in as setup where we are failing to properly compete and we know even if we wake up and start competing it will take us time for us to be closer to our colleagues, it’s now high time we should also own a university because if u see at those that have been left out, it does not mean they are not fit but consideration is based on space, a situation which creates a lot of competition.”
He said if we are able to take a position of having our own university and able to regulate it, this will help us a lot in terms of students graduating annually after attaining higher education hence penetrating into decision making position both in Government and the Private sector.
The former University of Malawi Law student added non Muslims are beating us already in the public facilities and that remains the same situation in the Private institutions run by Christians and other business People.