On 2nd March 2021, The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) received five submissions from the Muslim Education Council (MEC) on matters of education in the Muslim community.
They complained about teachers shortage amongst pastoralist communities especially the Islamic Religious Education Teachers (IRE). Another concern was about the hijab challenges in schools, the Accreditation of Muslim Education Council (MEC) to approve IRE Teachers and finally the Exemption of Foreign-Trained IRE Teachers from KCSE requirement.
The Memorandum was presented by the Muslim delegation led by Abdullatif Essajee, a respected Member of the Jamia Mosque Committee in Nairobi who said that the Muslim community acknowledges the government and TSC’s support in the education matters and added that the community will work jointly with the government to further other development programmes.
They highlighted the issue of teachers Shortage amongst pastoralist communities in the North-Eastern parts of Kenya. They added that since the colonial era, educational departments in Kenya have been skewed in favour of densely populated agricultural communities ignoring the plight of pastoralist communities.
While appreciating that Devolution and other measures such as free primary education, school fees waiver, the construction of boarding schools, and school feeding programmes have improved the situation, MEC added that these actions have had little impact on improving access and participation of pastoralist communities in education.
They want TSC and the state to engage MEC in developing clearer policies, planning and incorporating components of their existing traditional education institutions.
The officials complained that the shortage of IRE teachers has forced many schools not to offer the subject and asked the government for more sponsorships and bursary schemes to attract more students which may, in turn, translate to more IRE teachers.
The Muslim Education Council also proposed that Muslim teachers who got training in Islamic Studies overseas be accredited to provide instructions in Islamic religious education to fill the gap of shortage of IRE teachers and be retrained on competency-based training through a
distance learning programme and holiday based assessment.
They added that these teachers should be recruited by TSC as IRE teachers and be subjected to competency test and be certified by MEC.
Further, they want MEC representation in the TSC structure to promote an effective and efficient channel of addressing Muslim plights.
They praised the government for supporting Kenya Primary Madrassa Curriculum. The delegation was led by the MEC executive director Munawar Khan, Former KNEC Secretary Dr Ahmed Yusuf and Former IPOA commissioner Fatuma Saman.