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Scholars advocate measures to end Almajiri syndrome

Clerics, Islamic authors and some prominent personalities in Niger State have advocated for a comprehensive restructuring and overhauling of the administrative policies and curricular governing…

Clerics, Islamic authors and some prominent personalities in Niger State have advocated for a comprehensive restructuring and overhauling of the administrative policies and curricular governing Tsangaya model schools to make them relevant to the societal needs.

They said that it would also help to address the menace of high illiteracy rate in the North, stem the tide of Almajiri (begging), and help to provide sound knowledge of the Islamic faith to younger Muslims, among others.

They spoke at a one-day seminar with the theme “Islamic Civilisation and Modernization’’, organised by the Divine Art Science and Technology Development Centre (DASATdc), held at UK Bello Theatre, in Minna.

The event was organized to highlight the challenges bedevilling  Islamiyya schools and their teachers, with a view to brainstorming and proffer solutions that will make them compete favourably with its contemporaries.

One of the speakers, Ustaz Haruna Rashid Ibrahim, who spoke on: “Qur’an miracles in application of science and technology in Islamic world,” said the Islamic education system in Nigeria, including the schools that comprise it and the curricula being used, as well as the teachers and students of the system, were facing a lot of challenges.

“These challenges vary, from the poor physical infrastructure that exists in most of the schools to limited curricula, lack of recognition of products of the system, down to the very deplorable welfare conditions of the millions of Almajirai all over Northern Nigeria,” he added.

The cleric said that if these challenges were not promptly addressed, they were likely to have disastrous consequences to the development of the entire North.

He called for a speedy formulation of legal, institutional, educational, incentives framework, good welfare, funding, and recognition of products of the system, while providing job opportunities for them, so as to help standardize the Madrasah’s (Islamic schools).

These, he said, would help to ameliorate the poor conditions of Almajirai and also improve the Islamiyya system of education.

“There is need for government to consult widely with all stakeholders of the system, especially the “Alarammomi’’ (scholars), while massively sensitizing and mobilizing them, and the society in general, using all available means.

“Government and wealthy individuals should assist in improving the welfare conditions of teachers and students in the system and their learning environments. It is equally imperative that government improves the quality of education by promoting teacher-training and the development of uniform curricula and textbooks especially for the Islamiyya schools.”

The Chairman of DASATdc, Mallam Ahmad Ibrahim Khalil, recommended that a baseline study should be conducted to determine the location, size, staff strengths, facilities and problems of the Quranic schools that are appropriate enough to be involved any integration project.

He thanked the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Candidate (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who fully sponsored the event.

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