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Free SHS- in fulfilment of a religious obligation

education

Free SHS- in fulfilment of a religious obligationFree SHS- in fulfilment of a religious obligation

03 October 2012

With barely two (2) months to the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections, Ghanaians are bracing themselves for this all-important occasion and are busing themselves assessing and evaluating the various alternative programs and policy proposals of the various political parties on offer to better their lives.


 

 

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Democracy dictates that the electorates have the opportunity to do this in order to make informed choices and be able to hold eventual winners accountable for promises made to them in manifestoes and on political platforms.

Programs and policies may have general benefits in transforming a nation but will also impart directly on specific groups or components of the whole. Some of these policies as stated in the manifesto of the New Patriotic Party for the 2012 elections, among others, are the Northern Development Fund, the Zongo Development Fund and the Free and compulsory education up to the SHS level.

The combine effort of these policies will help in bridging the developmental gap between the North and the South of our dear nation. It will not only cure the social, economic and education disequilibrium or imbalance in the country, but also create equal opportunities for all irrespective of where they were born .They will reduce poverty levels in the north, reduce school drop out rate and open more avenues and eventually improve the living condition of the people. In short they will free the north and the zongo from the shackles of poverty and deprivation.

The free SHS policy, for instance, will offer immense benefits to the zongo’s and the northern parts of the country .This is mainly because, due to the higher poverty levels of the areas, school drop out rate are higher than other parts of the country .This suggest that there is an obvious imbalance that needs to be addressed, and the free SHS policy will cater for that.

This policy offers additional benefits to us Muslim in the country. It will not only help in securing a better future for the youth on an even and level platform as their counterparts in the south, but will also help in fulfilling a religious obligation. It will help secure for us the better world and the better here- after as we pray for daily prayers in the holy Quran.( Quran 2:101)

Islam as a religion places great premium on knowledge and education. The pursuit of knowledge is an important tool in understanding the religion and practicing it in the correct manner .It is important to remember that the first world mentioned to the Holy prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) by way of revelation was ‘’Iqra “which means READ. This was the first word of the first revelation the Archangel Gabriel gave to the holy prophet Mohammed (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him)( Quran 96:1). He instructed him three times, and at each time squeezing him (the Prophet) hard against himself.

This did not happen by chance but to underscore the importance of education in the religion and every field of endeavor. Knowledge is described as anything which provides the required guidance, in the light of which all stages in the walk of life are successfully completed and in its absence there is utter darkness where dwells the monstrous ignorance, and which brings the downfall of individuals as well as nations .The significance of knowledge in the religion is such that Allah Almighty commanded his messenger to seek more of it. Allah say in the Holy Quran ‘’and say: my Lord increase me in knowledge “(Surat Taha: Ayat 114).

The importance and objectives of education in Islam may clearly be noted down from the sayings of the holy prophet (SAW) “Acquire Knowledge, it enables the possessor distinguish right from wrong: it lights the part to heaven .It our friend in the desert, our society in solitude, our companion when friendless. It guides to happiness, it sustains in adversity. It is an ornament among friends, and armor against enemies’’.

The prophet also says with regards to acquiring knowledge, ’’the ink of the scholar is higher than the blood of the martyr’’. He is also reported to have said ‘’whoever reverse the learned, reverse me; He dies not who seek knowledge, lo! The Angles offer their wings to the seeker of knowledge in Islam .In related tradition the holy prophet (SAW) said ‘’Acquire knowledge even if you were to go as far as China for it “.China was used because it was seen by the Arabs as the farthest point on earth during the life time of the Holy prophet (SAW).

We are therefore entreated to seek knowledge no matter how far one has to go for it. In yet another tradition, and in my view which summarizes all the above, the Holy prophet says ‘’Acquisition of knowledge is “Faridat” (compulsory) on all Muslims (both men and women).In fact in the above hadeeth; the prophet did not only say education is important but COMPULSORY for Muslims. Some thing that is incumbent on you to do even if it means going to china for it being offerd free at your door steps.

The Quran is very replete and in fact, many ahaadith relating to the importance of education and knowledge in Islam and it every field of human endeavor. We could go on and on with more but this article will not have the space to accommodate the verses of the Holy Quran and the sayings of the Holy Prophet relating to the importance of education.

Also, we do not want to bore readers with too many quotations. But from few sited above, it is apparent that seeking of knowledge, apart from earthly opportunities, is “faridat” (obligatory) on muslims and it acquisition is fulfilling a religious obligation. Therefore any opportunity to fulfill this important religious requirement should be welcome and embraced by the adherents of the faith that places so much importance on knowledge.

At the end of the day we would have obeyed the commandments of our creator and His blessed messenger and also would have had no excuse in lagging behind in education and development. Let us remember that a muslim is not a muslim simply because he or his parent says he is or because he was born one. A muslim is a muslim because he a follows the words of Almighty Allah and his messenger Mohammed (Peace and blessing of God be upon him).

According to the Quranic perspective, knowledge is a prerequisite for the creation of a just world in which authentic peace can prevail. The holy Quran emphasizes the importance of the pursuit of knowledge even at the time, and in the midst of war. This social policy will ensure equitable distribution of our national resources and not concentrate them in the hands of a few individuals. This in it self is a recommended principle in Islam where the rich are supposed to spend part of their wealth to cater for wellbeing of the poor of the society.

Let us follow the commandments of Allah and His messenger, attain salvation and ultimately do away with ignorance, illiteracy and their accompanying poverty and deprivation. Let us accept and endorse Free Senior High Education and refuse to continue to be land guards and being used as hoodlums to cause confusion during elections and other periods on our land. Let us accept this policy and bring our selves to the same level as other and see an end to the era where only our names are being used as gatemen and watchmen in Ghanaian movies. Let us cease this opportunity. Let us endorse free senior high education.

From: HADII BAWA MANJU|This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





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