The Rector of the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) Dr. Ahmed Kawesa Ssengendo has advocated for the need to integrate the regular primary school curriculum with teaching of religion and vocational education, noting that this will help to develop children into complete citizens.
Dr. Ssengendo made the remarks during a thanks-giving party held last Friday for the outstanding performance of children of Zuhurah Education Centre located in Luwero district. Out of the 18 students who sat Primary Leaving Exams (PLE), 13 scored first grade, while the rest passed in second grade. Dr. Ssengendo is one of the founders of the school.
He argued that inculcating among children the fear of God, alongside their regular primary level subjects, coupled with vocational skills results into a complete person who, not only respects his creator but also respects fellow human beings.
“Integrated education is the best approach to learning because a human being is not just the heart and the body. Human beings have a body, heart, soul and mind. The moment someone realises there is the most merciful, they find other things in life easy,” remarked Dr. Ssengendo.
“You cannot steal and you don’t know. Because religion inculcates into us an awareness that there is time when we shall have to account, it helps us to stay away from vices such as corruption,” argued Dr. Ssengendo.
He dispelled fears and misconceptions that teaching religion among children, retards their educational advancement. On the contrary, he argued, it boosts their performance because their brains are still fresh. He cited the performance of former students of Zuhurah Educational centre as an example of how teaching religion sharpens their brain. He noted that students who excelled in Islamic theology at Zuhurah also consistently performed better than their peers in other schools in the final O-Level exams.
During the past three years of UNEB’s O-Level exams, some former students of Zuhurah featured among the best students in the country, according to Edris Mabiriizi, the Director of Studies at Zuhurah.
He cited Yusuf Ssekulima, a former student of Zuhurah Education Centre, who went ahead to be one of the best students in the country when he sat his O-Levels at Kawempe muslim secondary and scored 8 aggregates .
“The moment someone is able to memorise the Quran, how can they fail to memorize other things?”