Teachers of Arabic language have appealed to the Government at all levels to give consideration to teaching of Arabic Language in schools as being given to French, Chinese, Portuguese among other foreign languages.
They made the call at the Arabic Teachers Workshop organised in Yaba, Lagos.
Alhaji Saheed Akanji Azeez from the Curriculum Service Department, Lagos State Ministry of Education, made this plea giving a presentation at workshop organised for Arabic teachers in Lagos state.
He said Arabic should be allowed to taught in primary, secondary schools just like French, Portuguese and Chinese are being taught in many schools.
He added that while Arabic has been included in the curriculum, the challenge was that no teacher is being employed to teach Arabic.
Lamenting what he described as dearth of Arabic teachers in the state, he said the few Arabic teachers have become Islamic studies teachers.
Akanji however, urged Arabic teachers to continue to put in more efforts to develop their skills in imparting the knowledge.
He said, “Arabic teachers should not see anybody as enemy. Just see every issue as what you need to tackle and go ahead.
“The challenges are what you meet towards achieving success. You only need to tackle them so that you can get your goal. The real challenge of teaching of Arabic is our attitudes to it,” he added.
Why the workshop was necessary
According to the convener of the workshop, Mr. Iziaq Yakeen Dada, the goal of the workshop was to amend some “anomalies” observed in the teaching of Arabic Language in the nursery and primary schools.
Dada is also the Director of At-taw’iyyah Educational Service. He said the event was the second of its kind. The maiden edition was held in 2009. Each edition attracted several teachers across the state.
He added that the training was imperative in order to enhance the effective teaching and learning of the language in the identified levels of our education.
“Our objective is to expose teachers to 21st century effective methods of teaching Arabic in the nursery and primary school.
“We also intend to identify and correct common errors in the teaching of the language. It is part of our efforts to introduce strategies of teaching Arabic Language in respect of the Nigerian curriculum and Lagos state syllabus through the use of appropriate Arabic texts,” he added.
He noted that the Nigeria curriculum want Nigerian students to master at least three international languages; English, Arabic and French.
He said, “Arabic is however distinguished in the sense that some tribes in Nigeria speak it as their mother tongue and it is the language of the Muslims in the world.”
“Some Muslims schools pay a lip service to the introduction of the teaching of Arabic in their schools while some could not afford to employ a competent Arabic teacher.
More so, some Arabic teachers do not know what it takes to be a language teacher hence they teach for teaching sake and not to speak the language.”
He pleaded with stakeholders to employ more Arabic teachers in government schools in order to facilitate the teaching Arabic as a subject.
He expressed optimism that learning Arabic language will further foster national unity, socialisation with the Arab and the international world at large.
Meanwhile, Mr. Dada, an Arabuc teacher and secondary school counselor has published an Arabic Text Series which has been approved for pupils.