IEOSA - The Early Years... Establishment of Durban Islamic Educational Society (DIES) and Islamic Educational Organisation of Southern Africa (IEOSA)
After surveys were conducted it became clear that there was a need to establish a structured and formal Islamic education system. To fulfil the need of a structured Madrasah Education System including Teacher Education and Training, the Hajee Ahmed Mahomed Lockhat Wakuff Trust (established by Ahmed Mahomed Lockhat in 1933) set up the then ‘Durban Islamic Education Society’ in 1985, presently known as the “Islamic Educational Organisation of Southern Africa”, in short, IEOSA.
The Islamic Educational Organisation of Southern Africa is headed by Qari Ahmed Yusuff Lockhat, graduate of Al-Azhar University – Cairo, and the Organisation is involved in various levels of educational and social upliftment programs.
Having accepted this mammoth responsibility of improving the standard of Islamic education and realising the expertise required for making such an operation successful, the Ameer, Qari Ahmed Lockhat, travelled initially in 1985 to many parts of the world and returned with new ideas and information. The Organisation initially employed a few personnel to work on a core curriculum and syllabus, to conduct regular teacher training workshops and to monitor the few centers affiliated to the Organisation.
On assessing the teachers, it was found that some teachers were lacking in certain aspects of the learner’s curriculum. In order to overcome this problem, and stemming from the realisation that a successful curriculum model depends largely upon teacher ability and resourcefulness, the research team proposed the establishment of an intensive Teacher Education Program since no institution was providing this service and no material was available. Thus, with the demand for the services of the Organisation increasing, and the dire need to establish a structured Teacher Education Course, specialists for each subject were employed and appointed as Heads of Departments. Each Head was assigned an assistant and together they researched the syllabus for their particular subject and concurrently prepared teacher support material. In this way, it was hoped to merge Islamic education with modern techniques.
Alhamdulillah! Thus in South Africa, we have a vibrant infrastructure which is more than ready to accept the challenges of a rebirth of a new nation, where Islam must not just be another religion but a potent force beneficial to the entire subcontinent. That is the proven characteristic of Islam.