Tsangaya System and the Challenges of Islamic Education in the 21st Century: Some Reflections
Memorization of the Qur’an is the hallmark of Islamic education and a meritorious act of worship and servitude to Allah. The Prophet (pbuh) was reported to have said “the best among you are those who learn and teach the Qur’an”. These religious verdicts and many others made Qur’anic schools a traditional feature of any Muslim society. Thus, the society attaches much respect to Qur’anic scholars, and sees the welfare of the Qur’anic schools as its responsibility for many ages. Colonialism and the subsequent modernization that came with it and the Western education, led to the relegation of the Qur’anic education to the background. The traditional schools also resisted the forces of modernization which became its characteristic in other Muslim countries. Therefore, the tsangaya school system is marred by contempt in the society due to the challenges of feeding which led to street begging by Qur’anic pupils, lack of good shelter, medical care and lack of envisaged bright future. This paper surveys the challenges of tsangaya system of education, with the aim of proffering solutions to them.