The Muslim Council of Tanzania (BAKWATA) has at last expressed satisfaction over steps taken by the National Examination Council of Tanzania (NECTA) to rectify the anomaly noted in the results of the Islamic Knowledge subject performed by Form Six Students this year.
Bakwata, for the past one week, has been at loggerheads with the Examination Council over what has been described as abnormal level of failure in the Islamic Knowledge subject. The Form Six Students sat for the examination in February.
According to results released on May 1 this year by NECTA, Islamic Knowledge was the most poorly performed subject, something that alarmed Bakwata, teachers and students as well.
Owing to the level of failure in the subject, Mufti Issa bin Shaban Simba called for the resignation of NECTA Executive Secretary Dr Joyce Ndalichako. However, the Mufti has now said as long as the matter was resolved it was no longer useful to discuss the subject.
“We can’t keep on arguing with the government over the matter that has already been resolved. The matter here is that we raised our concern and the government through NECTA has positively responded. My call for Ndalichako’s resignation, at this point, is no longer a subject of discussion,” Mufti said.
Speaking by phone Ndalichako told this reporter she wouldn’t comment as it was the Mufti who wanted her to resign and therefore she was not in a position to respond. “Mufti said that I have to resign the post but I can’t comment on that,” said Ndalichako.
Fihiri Kisaken, the second master at Ubungo Islamic High School, said they have been satisfied with the action taken by NECTA and insisted that more action should be taken to rebuild the trust they had on NECTA.
“We were not happy with the first form six results particularly in the Islamic Knowledge subject whereby students performed poorly despite good preparations, which is why we sent a letter to the ministry concerned to seek clarification,” said Fihiri.
The ministry and NECTA took acted promptly…that’s a good thing but there is a need for further investigation by an independent committee to work on that.
An Islamic panel education member who asked for anonymity said the question is: why should problems happen only in the Islamic Knowledge subject?
However, he maintained that the Minister of Education and Vocational Training and NECTA did not announce the changes that had been introduced, and that was why there doubts among Muslims.
At a press conference on Thursday, the minister for Education and Vocational Training Dr Shukuru Kawambwa said it was human to error, stating that the problem was caused by changes in format in which the average was divided by three, using the previous format instead of two papers in the current format.
It is not the rule for the ministry or NECTA to announce the changes of a single subject to the public that’s why they were quiet, he explained.
Students who will meet qualifications after the changes made in the Islamic Knowledge could still go ahead with applications for further studies as the process will continue until June 30.
To build the trust among Muslims and Tanzanians in general, the ministry is to form a committee - with members from inspectors, secondary education unit and Islamic panel - to conduct further investigation.
“It was human error and not a plan to humiliate any group …I would advise students to keep on applying and continue trusting the ministry and NECTA,” said Kawambwa.
In the initial results in Islamic Knowledge only seven candidates scored D and was the highest pass but the current results show that there is an A, a B and other grades enabling many students to meet the qualifications of joining higher learning studies.
Meanwhile John Libongi from Tanga reports that Muftis from the East African countries this week agreed to cooperate to speed up the development of Islamic and its believers within the region early The Mufti of Tanzania Sheik Issa Bin Shaban Simba said the meeting brought together top Islamic leaders from Kenya, Tanzania Mainland, Uganda, Zanzibar.
“Our meeting was all about cooperation in various issues
About Islam and social welfare…we discussed many things for our cooperation, "said Mufti Simba
According to him Muslims need to unite and work together regardless of the country they come from to make them strong and better in all development aspects.
Speaking about the riots in Zanzibar Mufti Simba urged law enforcers to task all those involved in the riots.
He warned Islamic institutions in Tanzania to be careful with people bent on using Islam to fulfill their political ambitions, stressing they should not give them room to such people ready to demolish the good image of the Islamic faith.
“These people are saying that they do not like the union. Now the question is: how is the issue of the union related with setting ablaze churches or destroying people’s properties.
“By the way Christianity has been in Zanzibar for centuries…these people have hidden agenda,” he said.