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Hajia Hawawu Boya Gariba, Deputy Minister of Women and Children Affairs, has said it is imperative for all women to recommit themselves to ensuring that the girl-child is prepared adequately to meet her societal obligations.
She said the full commitment by all relevant stakeholders to guarantee women and girls what they have been denied for generations was very important.
“It is quality education that lays the solid foundation upon which personal and national successes are achieved. Unfortunately, we in the Islamic faith appear to lag behind in ensuring that our children are properly educated and benefiting from their training”.
Hajia Boya-Gariba made this observation over the weekend during the launch of a school project and fundraising by the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association in Ghana (FOMWAG), in Accra.
The event under the theme “A plea; give for the holistic development of the Muslim girl-child” was aimed at raising funds to establish a multipurpose Islamic school for Muslim girls.
She said the school would create an opportunity for Muslims to be part of the process of establishing more Islamic education units, where Muslim children can benefit from both secular and Islamic education.
Hajia Boya-Gariba, said the world was changing quickly and so there was the need to adapt quickly in order not to be crowded out of the development process of the country.
“We must now ensure that our children pursue higher education in all fields and to the highest possible levels to enable them play responsible roles in the society”.
She said gone are the days when some people believed that formal education tended to impact negatively on the spiritual development of their wards, and so were suspicious and apathetic to investing in the education of their children.
She said the time had come for all to come on board to acquire the necessary moral foundation which will enable the Muslim girl-child face their common challenges as they grow.
We should be prepared to contribute generously and support the entire process of building and resourcing the proposed educational facilities to ensure that the holistic development of our young ones is guaranteed.
Hajia Boya-Gariba urged FOMWAG to forge ahead and take up bigger roles in shaping and moving our dear nation forward and seeking leadership positions wherever they found themselves.
“If as Muslim women we want our presence felt and our worth duly counted within the Islamic faith and in national affairs then we cannot continue to stay behind the scenes in our shells.
Alhaji Aliu Mahama, Former Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, said education was generally acknowledged as the bedrock of development and a necessary tool for social transformation.
He said the launch signifies one of the giant steps taken by Muslims in Ghana to address the challenges of educational development and also a unique contribution of Muslim women in Ghana to national development.
He noted that it was imperative for communities that aspire for greater heights and accelerated development to place premium on education by providing the necessary infrastructure to ensure accessibility.
Alhaji Mahama congratulated FOMWAG for the vision and progressive initiative, saying education had the advantage of empowering people to take control of their lives and exposes them to opportunities for enhanced quality life.
“We have a shared responsibility which we all cannot neglect. Doing so would only be perpetuating the retrogressive factors of illiteracy, ignorance, economic deprivation, and inferiority complex, which had become the factors militating against our own progress”, he noted.
He said there was the urgent need for all Muslims to contribute their quota to ensure that FOMWAG achieves its noble objectives, saying we should all see it as a religious as well as a social duty to engage in the process of change that would guarantee for us a better condition of life.
The Former Vice President, called upon all well meaning Muslim Businessmen, Muslim Graduates, in public and private sectors, Non-governmental organisations, embassies, and managers of private businesses to contribute handsomely towards the project.
Alhaji Rasheed Pelpou, Deputy Majority Leader of Parliament, said for a very long time Muslims have depended on others for schools as well as support, but it was now time for them to have a school of their own that would preach good Islamic values.
He noted that Islam was a brotherhood and it was important for all to lend a helping hand to FOMWAG in other them achieve their objectives adding that government would ensure the success of the initiative.
He urged other Muslim organizations to emulate the efforts of the federation in order for Muslims to have enough schools to train the children to become good Muslims and good leaders in the society.
Mrs Hazara Majeed, Patron of FOMWAG, said the facility would help transform the lives of Ghanaian Muslim women to ensure a holistic education and development.
She noted that it would comprise of two classrooms, two dormitory blocks, mosque, parking lot and a sports arena.
“FOMWAG school would create a favourable environment for the Muslim girl to enable her compete with her counterparts and yet be good muslims” she added.
Mrs Majeed said it would provide the nest for producing future statesmen, muslim leaders and role models who would boldly take leadership roles adding that the muslim girl must be an agent of change in the Ghanaian muslim community.
The federation of Muslim Women's Associations of Ghana (FOMWAG) is a non-profit organization that helps in coordinating the activities of different Muslim women's group in the country.
The Federation seeks to provide Ghanaian Muslim women with leadership training through a holistic education and to create a platform for discussion on issues of development for Muslim women in the West African sub region.**
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