Almajiri education: Borno to establish Islamic colleges

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By Yakubu Uba

Maiduguri, Feb. 3, 2021 The Borno Government says it will establish Higher Islamic Colleges in all the 27 local government areas of the state as part of measures to integrate basic education into Qur’anic education.

Gov. Babagana Zulum made this known on Tuesday in Maiduguri while declaring open a three-day public hearing organised by the High Powered Committee on Reform of Sangaya System of Education in Borno.

Zulum said the college would serve as Islamic Centre for research on Islamic education, vocational training, science and technology.

He said that already construction of the colleges has commenced in Monguno and Gubio to be followed by the one in Kwaya-Kusar.

The governor, who stressed the importance of education, said adequate budgetary provision had been made in this year’s budget for Sangaya education, adding that members of the high powered committee will after the submission of their report be allowed to continue as members of implementation committee to actualise the programme.

The representative of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr Danjuma Adamu, who is the board member representing North East in UBEC, lauded Borno Government for its commitment to address the nagging problem of out of school children, particularly the Almajiris who had been reduced to destitutes and beggars.

According to Adamu, a research in 2018 showed that there is 2 million out of school children in north east out of which 330,000 are from Borno.

Adamu also recalled that in 2010 the federal government set up a committee to integrate basic education into the Qur’anic education and Sangaya schools where 175 model almajiri schools were constructed with about 200 almajiri sub-centres.

He however regretted that states involved, including Borno, failed to implement the memorandum of understanding signed with the federal government.

“Some of the projects were completely abandoned or converted into other uses like military schools, military camps because nobody utilise them for the purpose intended,” Adamu said.

He noted that with the commitment shown by Zulum’s administration, UBEC has found partner in progress in addressing the plight of almajiri education.

The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Umar-Garbai, lauded the programme which, he said, would address the abuse of Sangaya system, and assured the traditional council support for the success of the programme.

He said that the abuse of the system, particularly by outsiders who came to Borno for Qur’anic education led to emergence of Boko Haram led by non-indigines like Muhammed Yusuf and Abubakar Shekau.

The Chairman of of the committee, Sheikh Khalifa Abulfathi, had earluer said all eyes were on Borno for the bold steps taken by Zulum to salvage the almajiri system.

Abbulfathi said that the committee was committed to a through job to ensure Borno maintain its position as a pace setter in Qur’anic education.