Curriculum design, development and evaluation are, have always been, and will always be special cases of political behavior (Mazawi, & Sultana 2010). Political behavior in this sense refers to moves made towards the influencing or controlling the way how values are allocated. This is so as it pertains making decisions. They are to what sort of knowledge will be dispensed, to whom, by whom, and how it will be organized among other such activities that encompass curriculum making. This is a process where some people have a greater say than others. The problem today is that many people are seeking to control the curriculum. The concern has been who will influence this process rather than on what it will be taught (Mazawi, & Sultana 2010).
It is important to look at some fundamental points. For example, who influences the curriculum, to what extent the government or the state influences the curriculum, what characterizes the influence of the locals and the attitude to the curriculum at a national level, and what characterizes the demand and the conflicts in the curriculum making process. The federal government has always been top controlling the curriculum which to a large extent is ill founded. This is because whichever interested organization can influence education almost in a similar way as the federal government leaves a few responsibilities to the last.
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The federal government indeed does not control the education curriculum in many nations, but influences it like many other players. For instance, the federal government will support a program that deals with research for development. What could be defined as the worse in this situation is that the federal government financially supports people and programs that meet only certain requirements.
There are, however, areas where the federal government can control the curriculum. They include the legislative power; basically, of what areas must the curriculum consist. In some states, the federal government adopts the policies regarding on what a text book should be acquired. The federal government also charters schools and inspects the curriculum dispensation in these schools. Over and above, it also certifies teachers, supervisors and administrators. The role of the federal government in education curriculum making is necessary. The federal government has to fund the education program and prioritize on what program to be funded first. Other players might politicize this through other means, as criticizing the sort of books which are acquired but most of text books the writers accomplish regards the text books which correspond to the market demand. The local values should be incorporated in the process of curriculum making. The goal should harmonize the players involved in the curriculum making process.
Normally educational curriculums are determined by the demand of the market. It is wrong for any player to control the curriculum instead of influencing it. The question is posed as to what extent should the federal government influence education. Or, what can the government contribute to promoting education as part f development.
In relation to Islamic law the influence on curriculum by the federal government can be looked at in such an Islamic context. The federal government might see the need to influence the legal education to suite its state needs. However, this has to be done in a manner that does not depict a dictatorship sense. Islamic law has been around for a very long time. Halaq (2009) says that this is dated way back in the tenth and eleventh century. Even in contemporary times, there has been a need to inculcate religion into education. This is because education today has been secularized and the effects of this move have led to the detriment of the society. The role of education in any state is invariable and it is needless to say that its control should be paramount.
The Islamic religion can be used for the purpose of bringing back values in law scholars. It has been argued that scholars were first ordinary men before they became professionals, for instance, lawyers. If the values and ethics which can be taught by Islam are used to influence law, then it could be for the good of the nation. In this sense, the federal government would be influencing education to achieve the situation. It is said that its Islamic population that has Islamic lawyers who can arbitrate their disputes.
Oloati, a Nigerian scholar, says that a Muslim should be trained in such a manner that his whole being conformed to Islamic teachings. Education would be more meaningful if the person who is equipped with this education is indeed a person of apt moral values such as dignity, ethics and other Islamic values. Muslims should be trained to follow Islamic laws willingly and joyously so that they ultimately live in accordance to the requirements of the holy book – the Quran.
This position does not mean that Islamic education is against other secular sciences. Islamic education, as earlier mentioned, is wide and comprehensive. Mazawi, & Sultana (2010) agree that this is a fact which is even confirmed by the Quran. From this we note that Islam is complete as it encompasses other disciplines which are present in medicine, psychology, mathematics among others, so long as their teachings comply with the tenets and the attitudes of Islam.
Education in many places has failed as it lacks the roots. Spirituality can be used as the root of education. If people believe they were created by Allah, then they should be guided by HIM in all they endeavor to accomplish in education/law.
Islamic law is not about what one would term as legal or illegal, rather it is about a distinct psychological devotion to what is right according to Islamic teachings. In this sense the Islamic law beats today’s secular laws where the people under the law follow the law just for the sake of not being on the safe side rather than being devoted to the laws. Islamic laws in the past were implemented without causing rise of dictatorial states as the law was distinctly separated from political power and those in leadership positions were under the Islamic law. Nowadays, thiis has eroded this creating a situation where those in power have a say on what is wrong and what is right. This is what has created dictatorial states in today’s state due to the conflict of interests, argues Halaq.
The rise of dictatorship displays which used to be the Islamic states in one tragedy that resulted from the embracement of western cultures and values during the colonization and modernization which wreaked violence on venerated traditional cultures (Halaq, 2001). In fact, the evil of modernity has brought the striving to influence all the cultures and operate in similar ways. Modernity has wiped out professionals who used to mediate the disputes of masses according to Halaq.
In the ancient world the emergency of the Islamic law could be taken back to the emergency of jurist bodies. The four main bodies included Maliki, Hanafi, Hanbali and Shafi’i schools of law. Halaq seeks to explain the origin of the Islamic law. Prophet Mohammed at one time met with the Jews who practiced what Halaq terms as monotheist religion and they could not agree with his beliefs. Therefore, he moved away from them. Here, Halaq argues that if Christians and Judaists could disagree with teachings and laws so could Muslims. God created different communities and gave them different laws. As Halaq points out, no particular community should impose their laws on another community.
At the onset, Islamic law interfered into the legislative processes. This was evident in the determination of legal doctrine together with the entire internal dynamics of the law which was nearly absent (Halaq, 2009). Today Muslims have embraced western culture where even the teaching of Islamic law is in the western kind of schools. The effects of this move in many fronts are evident and are to the detriment of the Islamic societies.
The sacred law of Islam is an all-embracing body of religious duties rather than a legal system of power; it comprises of equal footing ordinances regarding cult and ritual, as well as political and (in the narrow sense) legal rules (Rippin, 2008).). It is, therefore, in all fairness not supposed to be impeded from implementation if it is to the benefit of the state.
In conclusion, as put earlier, the federal government’s role is not to control the educational curriculum or to impose the curriculums on the citizen, but to spread it to the people. The benefits of Islamic law are evident as the lack of connection of education and law with religion has continuously witnessed the erosion of ethics and virtues that are requisite in professions. The federal government should therefore come into influence the inculcation of Islamic education on the citizens, so long as the demand for this is present among the people. This will ensure smooth design, development and implementation of the curriculum. Matters of dictatorship should not arise in the design of curriculums. Surely even the people should understand that they need to produce scholars who can serve them best and only set out to partner with the federal government to design such curriculums accordingly.