From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
Last year, Kano state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje launched the free, compulsory and basic educaton policy during which he promised to integrate the Almajiri system of education into western education. Since then, he has continuously pursued this programme with zeal, even though the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic at the first quarter of this year slowed it down.
However, the COVID-19 era, on other hand, added more responsibility to the project with the repatriation of Kano indigenous Almajiri from other neighbouring states. This development, however, prolapsed the state government to increase the number of Almajiri integrated schools in the state from 12 to 15, with three additional modern integrated Almajiri boarding schools built at strategic locations in the three senatorial zones of the state.
On Tuesday, September 15, the state Commissioner for Education, Malam Muhammad Sanusi Sa’ad Kiru and his counterpart in the Information Ministry, Malam Muhammad Garba, led a team of journalists on inspection tour of the three new Integrated Almajiri boarding schools located in, Kanawa, Madobi Local Government Area, Bunkure in Bunkure Local Government Area and Kirawa in Bagwai Local Government Area.
Our Correspondent reports that renovation at these three schools have reached over 90 percent with the provision of world-class facilities that upgrades it as standard with other modern schools in this part of the world. Apart from connecting the schools to the national grid, standby generating sets were provided for constant power supply. Mosques were also constructed. There is also guarantee for constant water supply with sinking for boreholes and mounting of water tanks. The schools with spacious playing grounds are also fender ced the ensure the security of the students. The class rooms are well equipped with comfortable seats, ceiling fan, black boards and other learning and instructional materials. Modern toilets were also constructed, just as the computer rooms are already equipped with brand new desktop computers.
Speaking to journalists on the level of preparations made so far, the state Commissioner for Education, Malam Muhammad Sa’ad Kiru, said already, headmasters have been appointed to take charge of the administration of the the three schools. He said Ganduje approved the sum of N159 million for the rehabilitation of the Tsangaya schools and purchase of needed facilities. He added that as soon as schools reopens, the state government is set to enrol over 1000 Almajiri into schools where they will acquire both western and Islamic education with comfort and in a conducive atmosphere. The major beneficiaries of the new schools are the repatriated Almajiri who are currently taking shelter in Karaye.
In his brief remarks, the state Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba who maintained that the Ganduje administration is determined in its policy of evacuating Almajiri out of Kano streets, as part of efforts to stop street begging, said there is no better way to give the young children good life and ensure a better tomorrow for them than to give them adequate basic education that can enable them compete with their peers, even as they continue with their Islamic learning. He, however, commended the Commissioner for Education and his team for their commitment in championing the policy, which he described as very important to the Ganduje administration.
The AUTHORITY reports that about 650 special teachers have been recruited by the Ganduje’s administration to teach the Almajiris English, Mathematics and other conventional subjects even as they
continue with Quranic education. Today in Kano, Almajiris who hitherto flood the streets in tattered clothes are now provided with free school uniforms and instructional materials to learn in school just like their peers.
This has not only solved the problem of nuisance constituted by the Almajiris when they roam the street begging during school hours, it will also change the worldviews of these hapless children and at the end, give them a sense of belonging in the society.