Teaching of Islam in Zambia’s two Senior Secondary School Religious Education Syllabuses of 2013: Stakeholders’ Educational Perspective
Keywords: Teaching; Islam; Religious Education; Religious pluralism
AbstractMany studies conducted on Religious Education (RE) in Zambia have repeatedly reported that the two senior secondary school R.E. syllabuses (2044 and 2046) are exclusively Christian in content and approach. The studies have also indicated that Islam and other non-Christian religions have continued to be marginalised in the two R.E. syllabuses despite many educationists advocating for a pluralistic and equal coverage of all the religions in R.E. Further, the studies have revealed many principles as espoused in the national policy document on education of 1996. However, what seems to be lacking are the views of various stakeholder on how the teaching of R.E. particularly the Islamic dimension in both R.E. 2044 and 2046 could be reformed in terms of the content coverage, teaching methods and the context. In this light, a qualitative sample of four teachers of R.E. drawn from four selected secondary schools in Lusaka district, two Muslim sheikhs at Makeni Islamic Society Trust (MIST) and a Curriculum Specialist at CDC was purposively and randomly selected. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data which were then analysed qualitatively. The study revealed the need to include a religious perspective on how Islam responds to current issues on corruption, gender and HIV and AIDS. The study also revealed that some Islamic concepts and teachings should be fully supported by the Quranic quotations and or teachings from the Hadith in order to improve the Islamic content. Educational trips, research projects and guest speakers were suggested as viable ways of teaching the Islamic component in the RE syllabuses.