The Almajiri system reform
By Samuel Victor Akpan
In the northern part of Nigeria, there are 7 million children (Almajiris) that are out of school. That figure makes up 13.2 million out of school children in Nigeria according to the National Council for the Welfare of Destitutes.
Aimed at promoting quranic literacy, the Almajiri System of Education began in the 11th century in Borno state. 700 years later and an Islamic revolution was founded specifically for the teachings of the Holy Quran in Sokoto state. The similarities in both the empire’s quranic learning systems led to what became the Almajiri system which spread across the country.
The system of education, which has come under vigorous scrutiny taught its pupils not just the Hausa language but also how to read and write the Quran, alas, a lack of sustenance over the years and western education has driven the system in a different direction.
After the colonization in 1904, the British claimed the system was a religious hoax, leading to the introduction of western education. The government subsequently stopped funding and the school and its pupils were left to fend for themselves- the basis of the Almajiri problem in Nigeria.
With seven million Almajiris roaming the streets of the northern region, the current state of things poses a huge threat to a region where terrorism, banditry, and kidnapping is starting to thrive.
With the government saying that the Almajiri curriculum isn’t broad enough to be recognized as a school, and also, no public body to regulate the said “institution”, can this situation be saved? Should the system be scrapped?
Sandra (@sEzekwesili) and Aghogho (@aghoghooboh) take an extensive look into the issue and try to unearth possible solutions and answers to the questions on our PM Hub show, Hard Facts.
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