Concerned by the plight of children begging and roaming in the street under the guise of attending Qur'anic schools as Almajiris, governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state, has constituted a powerful Technical Committee that would look into the Almajiri system of education,
with the view to integrating it into the mainstream curriculum-based education system that complies with international best practice as manifested in Muslim countries across the globe.
The new initiative will checkmate the menace of street begging among Almajiris. Because more measures would be put in place to bring forth the dignity and resourcefulness of pupils for the overall development of the state.
With the recent pronouncement of free and compulsory primary and secondary schools education by the governor, this new development would, among other things, integrate Qur'anic schools with mainstream government-controlled schools where English, Mathematics, Hygiene education, among others would form part of the curriculum for the identified Almajiri schools.
He constituted the Committee, Sunday, at his office, Government House, Kano, and in attendance as part of the Committee members were some notable Qur'anic scholars like Gwani Yahuza Gwani Saleh Dan Zarga, immediate past Executive Chairman of Kano State Qur'anic and Islamiyyah Schools Management Board among others.
Other members of the committee come from the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Ministry of Education, traditional institutions, Qur'anic teachers of great repute both nationally and internationally, and other critical stakeholders.
Dr Muhammad Tahar Adam is the chairman of the Committee, who assured the governor of their dedication and commitment to the confidence repose in them, assuring that " We will do our best to deliver in accordance with Islam. Both in practice and application."
Part of the work of the committee is to go and have deeper discussions with Alarammomi (Qur'anic teachers who have with them pupils under their tutelage for Qur'anic education) and see how to come up with a more proper and acceptable way, as obtained in other Muslim nations on Qur'anic education.
Ganduje said "They will sit with such Alarammomi and see how we can introduce Western type of education into their curriculum in order to produce children with all types of education to prepare them for good living here on earth and hereafter. They too, need to go with modern time and get all the opportunities other children are getting."
Though governor Ganduje discloses that, according to statistics government has, there were many Alarammomi that were not even from Kano, but they bring along with them hundreds of children from other parts of the country, to Kano and settle for Almajiri schools.
That, he said "...does not mean we will not help the life of such Almajiri. That is part of the cosmopolitan nature of our dear state. Since they are in Kano, we just have to educate them also. And they must be incorporated into our free and compulsory education initiative. The committee I am constituting today will come up with the modalities for embarking on this great project."
"We have statistics with us that many out of school children as given by different surveys, are not from Kano. They come from other states of the federation. Some are brought in from other neighbouring countries, like Niger Republic, Chad and some from Cameroon," reveals the governor.
He also discloses that the newly constituted committee would, among other things, set up machinery for organising a Workshop that would bring together Qur'anic scholars, experts in Islamic education system,
conventional educationists, traditional rulers, community leaders and other critical stakeholders, to discuss ways, modalities and other technical approaches on how to have a successful take-off of this new initiative. The workshop is proposed for September when schools will be open for another session.
While appreciating that government does not have enough teachers to sufficiently cater for this new emerging trend, he assured that there would be more and continuous recruitment of teachers.
Adding that "Government will also make other provisions for having voluntary teachers that will go a long way in bridging any gaps in the teaching aspect."
"For the learning and teaching materials we are going to redouble or even triple our efforts towards bridging any gaps also in this area. We are not taking anything for granted. All avenues to make this programme a success would be explored," says Ganduje.
Chief Press Secretary to the Kano State Governor