Parents of Muslim students at Keme Balogun Junior School a government-owned school in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, have condemned the attitude of the state government to their cries over the lack of teachers for Islamic Religious Studies (IRS).
While speaking to an Afri Reporters correspondent, the parents expressed their displeasure over Governor Sanwo-Olu’s insensitivity to the issue. The parents blamed the governor for the delay in employing capable hands to teach the subject. They alleged that the present administration is giving priority to Christian students.
Speaking about the issue, one of the parents who preferred anonymity, complained bitterly that the government shows little or no interest in employing IRS teachers for the junior and senior schools.
“It is disheartening that our children do not have permanent teachers for their religious studies. For over seven years, no teachers,” the parents lamented.
He added, “A volunteer teacher was employed, thinking that one day he would be employed as a permanent teacher, but efforts were jeopardized. At a point, there was a paucity of funds. The parents bankrolling the teacher could no longer afford to do so.
“The teacher had to stop, and the teaching and learning of IRS also stopped abruptly.”
He continued, “It is heart-wrenching that our children have no access to Islamic teaching in a state-owned school.
“We must sincerely commend the school principal for granting the volunteer teacher access to teach. He has played his role. We are only appealing to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to help us retain the volunteer teacher who the students are already familiar with and get us an additional teacher for the senior school.”
Another parent simply identified as Mrs Bilikisu, lamented that the current situation at Keme Balogun seems to be a well-orchestrated spiritual war against the Muslims.
“It is wrong that a government school prioritizes Christianity and relegates Islam. That is unfair,” Mrs. Bilikisu cried.
She added, “The government has a responsibility to cater to the spiritual needs of all the students. It is an injustice that our children are denied access to this important subject.
“The volunteer teacher has stopped because funds were scarce. He is also a family man that needs to cater to his wife and children. Governor Sanwo-Olu should act on this.”
According to Mr. Babalola, it is just unfair that a Lagos school like Keme Balogun could exist for years with IRS teachers.
“We are unhappy that the government neglected the Muslims who voted for the current governor. This is one of the reasons why we trooped out en mass to ensure the reelection of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
“We have the right to demand this request from the government. There are two teachers for Christian Religious Studies (CRS) in the school. What happened to the spiritual life of the Muslim students?” Mr. Babalola reacted.
He, therefore, requested that the current volunteer teacher be retained and staffed to teach the junior students while the government employs another one for the senior school.
“Our children too need to learn more about their religion. We are appealing to Governor Sanwo-Olu to work on this and ensure teachers are employed for the subject.