A Brief Introduction
Arabic was one of the foundation programmes introduced by this University since its inception. The Curriculum and other preliminary work on this were carried out by the then Dr. I. A. Ogunbiyi who was appointed Senior lecturer in 1975. from the beginning of 1976 and 1977, the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies took off with the then Dr. I. A. B. Balogun as its foundation head.
During the 1977-78 sessions, both programmes of Arabic and Islamic Studies were joined by Christian Studies and Comparative Religions Studies to form a new Department of Religions. In spite of the affinity of Arabic with Islamic Studies, the fact that Arabic distinguishes itself as essentially of language and literature makes students, lecturers and visiting experts in the field and other observers to note the aberration in its location in the Department of Religions. Senate in its wisdom approved the recommendation of the Faculty Board of Arts and the Business Committee of Senate to grant a separate department to the programme. Council also upheld the approval of Senate on this matter and approved a takeoff grant of N500,000. The effective date of its attaining the status of a distinct Department was 1st of August, 2004. The programme has produced graduates of Arabic and through it, many Masters and Ph.D. holders have been trained. One of the products of Arabic who is the only one who has made a First Class so far is the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Ishaq Olarewaju.
There are particular characteristics, which distinguish Arabic from the other Arts disciplines because it is a language, which has been studied and developed by Nigerians for eight centuries before their study of other foreign languages. Its subject matter continues to elicit the interest of millions of Nigerians who study it without depending on government support. The legacy of skill, quality and accomplishment left behind by such prolific Nigerian writers in Arabic serve as a source material for historians and other cognate disciplines in the Arts and Social Sciences. It also serves as a stimulus for students wishing to learn it as an academic discipline in the university as a continuum to what happens outside the Universities cumulatively and iteratively in addition to those who study it out of sheer interest in a foreign language. It also provided diagnostic categories at different layers of language to enrich applied linguistics. This reciprocal relationship of Arabic with other disciplines is bound to positively influence the students of the subject. The language has influenced many Nigerian languages through convergence of lexical items through borrowing.
(ii) Aims and Objectives
Students should be able to acquire important abilities required in the spoken and written Arabic.
Students should be able to develop qualities of mind through a full awareness of the socio-cultural, commercial, political, diplomatic, economic as well as military aspects of the life of the speakers of Arabic which is the most widely spoken mother tongue in Africa in addition to its heart lands in the middle East.
Students should be able to appreciate the contributions of Nigerian authors to Arabic scholarship, to show ability to understand the thoughts and language skills of those scholars in the context of the past and in juxtaposition with the present, which sheds light on the dynamics of change and the reality of continuity in spite of change.
Students should be able to read and digest all texts critically and emphatically as they pay due attention to form and content, genre and style as well as perspective and purpose. They should be able to imbibe the personal attitudes of being critical and yet tolerant.
Students should be able to acquire basic critical skills such as:
recognition of distinction between antithesis and synthesis on one hand and balancing on the other; that statements are not all of equal validity, that there are ways of testing them; that what a word must mean in a context is more critical to knowledge than what it may mean.
Students should be able to demonstrate their mastery of the language through a clear, coherent and appropriate choice of diction with a sense of economy of expression both in their oral and written work. Their exposure to grammar and rhetoric will inculcate in them qualities of systematic thought and to be good in logic.
Such skills and abilities listed above will equip students with adequate training relevant to job opportunities such as teaching, research, translating, administration, journalism, military and diplomatic assignments and for self-employment as a consultant.
4 - Year (8 – Semester) Degree Programme
(i) Credit passes in five (5) subjects including Arabic at the Senior Secondary School Certificate of WAEC or NECO or SIS or their equivalent for a four year or eight Semester programme then they are required to obtain an acceptable score in the University Matriculation Examination (UME) and minimum of 50% in post UME test.
(ii) 3 Year (Six Semester) Degree Programme
Candidates with recognized diploma or NCE or their equivalents in Arabic language are eligible for admission into a three year or six semester degree course in Arabic after passing post UME test.
(iii) Candidates who do not possess a credit in the Arabic language may be admitted into a five (5) year degree programme, the first of which should be a one year preparatory course.