Teachers must ensure their impacts on students by nurturing them to success through modelling and mentoring.
Dr Imran Adeleke of the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Lagos, gave this advice at an interactive forum jointly organised by the Muslim Teachers’ Association of Nigeria (MUTAN) and the Muslim Students’Society of Nigeria (MSSN) in Alimosho at the weekend.
Speaking on the theme of the forum, ‘Making It Count,’ Dr Adeleke said that, apart from having passion for teaching, a good teacher must have love for children and be able to collaborate with students to achieve success.
He added that teachers should see their job as not only to teach but also to nurture souls.
“To nurture implies the ability to transform students’ lives and to identify potential and help them build on what they have,” he said.
The forum was meant to foster more cordial relationship between the two organisations and also to profer solutions to the challenges affecting both parties in the discharge of their responsibilities in their fields of operations.
Dr Imran Adeleke advised the two organisations to build trust and give room for mutual consultations in order to make progress and impact positively on the lives of students.
In a keynote address, Professor Adeleke Funminiyi Abiodun-Raheem, Head of Department, Public and Private Law, Lagos State University, Ojo said Muslims in Nigeria have been law abiding and obedient even in the face of provocations and rights denials.
Citing the ongoing hijab controversy, Professor Adeleke advised Muslims to remain calm and continue to exercise patience until the case is finally determined by the Supreme Court.
Earlier, the Lagos State Amir (President) of MSSN, Mr. Saheed Ashafa lamented that despite a subsisting court ruling on the legality of the hijab in Lagos state public schools, the harassment and humiliation of female Muslims adorning the hijab still continue.
He said, “It is also unfortunate that there are still reports that some Muslim teachers are the instruments through which our innocent members are facing these ordeals. Some stay aloof when female students in Hijab are being humiliated by principals or other persons with delegated authority, probably due to fear of the unknown.
“It is our view that Muslim teachers in various schools should rather strengthen MUTAN and make it a formidable force that the school authorities will always consult before taking any decision that will affect Muslims.
“Muslim teachers should also be bold to identify themselves with Islam and what is at stake for Islam in their schools. We urge you (our teachers) to continue to be vanguards of Islam just as your counterparts from the other faith have been advocate of their religion.”
Ashafa also drew the attention of the teachers to the dismal academic performance of students, especially Muslim Students.
“There is no gain saying the fact that the academic performances of Muslim Students are below par. At our end in MSSN, we have established Extra Mural Classes at the Area Council level to assist students in improving in their academics. This is aside the weekly Usrah gathering aimed at inculcating Islamic morals in the students.
“We want our teachers to also intensify their efforts in ensuring students, especially Muslim Students, succeed in their academics, for their success is our success!” he added.
The Lagos state Chairman of MUTAN, Alhaji Jimoh Abdurraheem, highlighted some of the areas of challenges between MSSN and MUTAN and said the forum was a better avenue to address the issues and forge a common front for progress.
The MUTAN-MSSN Interactive Forum is an annual event that brings Muslim teachers and members of the MSSN in Alimosho local government to rob minds and fashion out ways to address various challenges militating against effective discharge of their duties.
This year’s editon is the second in Alimosho Local government.
The maiden edition was held last year at the Alimosho Local Government Secretariat premises.