KOBOKO. A total of 43 elderly Imams have sat for their Uganda Islamic Primary Leaving Examinations (IPLE) in Koboko district.
The Imams, some in their 70s, sat for the national examinations at Noor primary school in Koboko Municipality and completed on Wednesday.
According to Mr Yasin Amule, the head of Koboko Muslim Development Organization, the decision to enroll the Imams for studies was aimed at addressing the existing problem of knowledge gap among the Muslim clerics in Koboko.
“In 2011, Muslim leaders in Koboko sat down to forge ways of addressing some of the economic and social challenges that the faith faces in the district. The issue of knowledge gap among Imams was later identified as the biggest challenge as many Imams can’t interpret the Quran perfectly to the Uma (Believers) although they are in position to read it in Arabic. That is why we decided to take them back to school,” Amule said.
"A religion without knowledge is like someone moving in the darkness. Even if we build so many mosques around but without knowledge, they will all be useless," Amule added.
He said it was the reason the organization officials got convinced to enroll the Imams to school to attain more knowledge in interpreting the Quran so that they are able to deliver better services to the Uma.
Amule, however, urged the Uma to consider contributing towards the sustainability of the program which he says will change the lives of their clerics.
The candidates were taught by teachers from Arua district on weekends for at least two semesters before sitting for IPLE that ended on Wednesday.
The Imams were examined in four subjects which included; Quran, Fiqih, Lugha and Tarbia.
Out of over 80 Imams who enrolled for the course, only 43 were able to sit for the final examinations as others dropped out in the due course of the program mainly due to lack of school fees.
Mr Rashid Ijosiga, 34, an Imam from Ludara sub-county confessed that the kind of Arabic he has been speaking didn’t measure to the one used in teaching and examining him.
Mr Yusuf Munduga Abdulahi another candidate from Lurujo sub-county said the course has been an opportunity for him to boost his interpretation skills in Arabic.
He said feeding and payment of school fees of shs180, 000 per semester were the major challenges he faced in the course of the training.