The Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has disclosed that his administration would be constructing no fewer than 27 higher Islamic Colleges as part of his commitment to completely reform the Almajiri traditional Islamic education system.
He indicated that the education system, popularly known as Tsangaya, had been facing some criticism over the years which warrants the said reforms, adding that only such could make it an acceptable system of education.
Declaring open a three-day public hearing for the collation of stakeholders’ input towards the complete reformation of the Almajiri education system in Borno State on Monday, the governor said that the proposed colleges would be sited in all 27 Local Government Areas in the state.
According to him, the colleges would provide opportunities for eligible adults with adequate Islamic knowledge to acquire Diplomas in Western education, after meeting laid down academic pre-qualifications.
Zulum explained that the higher Islamic colleges would be designed to also serve as Islamic research centers, in addition to teaching and learning.
On his part, the occasion’s guest speaker and Director of Quranic Education Center, Bayero University, Kano, Professor Ibrahim Muhammad, commended Zulum for his rare focus and leadership style that involves adequate planning.
“Borno is very lucky to have Zulum as its leader” Prof. Muhammad declared before going into the details of his paper.
The Don’s paper gave a historic account of how Almajiri system of education started in northern Nigeria, tasking stakeholders in Borno State to remain focused on their planned reforms.
In their separate contributions, the guest of honor, Dr. Usman Bugaje, an Islamic scholar, political activist and civil society leader, and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri, Prof. Abubakar Mustapha, spoke on ways towards the reformation of the system.
The three speakers are expected to present papers during technical sessions while other stakeholders will make contributions.
The public hearing, which had in attendance Islamic clerics who either founded, managed, or taught in the traditional Almajiri system, was organized by a high-powered committee constituted on November 19, 2020, by Zulum, with the mandate of reforming the Almajiri system. The committee is being chaired by Khalifa Aliyu Ahmed Abdulfathi.
The event was also attended by representatives of the Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Elkanemi and Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), the Chief Imam of Borno, and top government officials led by the Head of Service.