ACHIEVEMENTS AND SHORTCOMINGS OF ALMAJIRI INTEGRATED SCHOOLS IN SOKOTO STATE: THE JOURNEY SO FAR


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ACHIEVEMENTS AND SHORTCOMINGS OF ALMAJIRI INTEGRATED SCHOOLS IN SOKOTO STATE: THE JOURNEY SO FAR

ABSTRACT

This research work investigated the achievements and shortcomings of Almajiri Integrated Schools in Sokoto state. The journey so far using Almajiri Integrated Model School, Dange-Shuni and Almajiri Islamiyuya Integrated Model School Gagi, Sokoto as the case study. The sample size used was seven hundred and thirty two comprising of forty two teachers and six hundred and ninety students. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data fro9m the respondents. The finding revealed that the schools have qualified teachers. It also revealed that the major problem been faced by the students is the difficulty in the understanding of language of instruction i.e. English language. It is therefore recommended that the schools should organize an extra lesson for the students especially on English language and mathematics.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page i

Approval Page ii

Dedication iii

Acknowledgement iv

Table of Contents v

List of Tables vii

Abstract viii

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study - - - - - - -1

1.2 Statement of the problem - - - - - - -3

1.3Objectives of the study4

1.4 Research questions - - - - - - - -4

1.5 Significance of the study - - - - - - -4

1.6 Scope and delimitation of the study - - - - - -5

1.7 Definition of terms - - - - - - - -5

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1 Introduction 6

2.2 The meaning and origin of Almajiri - - - - - -6

2.3Almajiri System of Education7

2.4 Aim of Almajiri Education - - - - - - -8

2.5Goals of integrating Almajiri education10

2.6Struggles towa5rds integration of the Almajiri schools---11

2.7Consequences of Integrated Almajiri education14

2.8Summary and uniqueness of the study15

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1 Introduction 16

3.2 Research design - - - - - - - -16

3.3Population of the study -------16

3.4 Sample and sampling techniques - - - - - -16

3.5 Research instrument - - - - - - - -17

3.6 Methods of data collection - - - - - - -18

3.7 Method of data analysis 18

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS

4.0 Introduction - - - - - - - - -19

4.1Data presentation and analysis------19

4.2 Summary of findings - - - - - - - -25

4.3Discussion of findings-------26

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.0 Summary - - - - - - - - -28

5.1 Conclusion - - - - - - - - -28

5.2 Recommendations - - - - - - - -28

References - - - - - - - - - -30

Appendix - - - - - - - - - -32

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

The issue of Almajirai has remained worrisome in the minds of northern elites. This is because the practice has been a source of embarrassment to the region. The concept of Almajiri came as a result of Prophet Muhammad’s migration from Mecca to Medina. In Hausa land the term Almajiri could take any of the following forms; any person irrespective of gender, who begs for assistance on the street or from house to house as a result of some deformity or disability; children between the age of seven and fifteen who attend informal religious school who equally roam about with the purpose of getting assistance or alms; or even a child who engages in some form of labour to earn a living.

According to Muhammad (2010) the concept of Almajiri education in Nigeria started in the days when the quest to acquire knowledge was prevalent, especially the Qur’anic knowledge by the Muslims, there were no laid down procedures or channels to adopt in obtaining such, except the unconventional way to a supposedly teacher, known as Malam. It was this Malam that now enlist the child to the teaching of religious scriptures and Islamic way of life are introduced to the young pupils. It was so perfect and rewarding that highly educated Sheikhs and Mullahs who became successful in life by holding positions of judges and teachers that were molding the minds of the young on how to become righteous and exemplary in their future lives. However, when the civilized life styles of the west started encroaching into the big cities of the north, some of these Malams became allured to the greed for money and started migrating to the cities and towns with their pupils and subjected them to vagaries of the streets.

He further explained that one teacher can register up to a hundred and more pupils who he singularly keeps, guides and control. To keep them fed and accommodated are also part of the teacher’s responsibilities. But nowadays even to keep and feed one hundred mouths is not easy, and perhaps impossible. But life must go on, and the pupils have to, as a must, acquire the knowledge their parents sent them to do. The little stipends the parents were able to give their wards for them and the teachers hardly  sustains them for a  month, so an

alternative means of getting more income has to be employed. During the day time, when there are no classes the pupils are allowed to roam into the town and wander around until when classes were to begin. It is this going about around the town that affords the pupils to engage in menial jobs that fetches them some little amounts. This also was a kind of stopped by the people because they have other means of doing such jobs and so the pupils venture into house to house begging for remnants of food to eat. It is also said that the pupils take back part of this food to the teacher. It is clear from the above, that the teacher himself is gaining from the engagements of the pupils in the town, and can do anything to sustain it.

The system that was hitherto organized and well charted has now been bastardized and abused to the extent of letting our children roam streets and picking remnants of food leftover from dustbins. One other aspect of the system that has been abused nowadays is the degenerated value of trust and togetherness that our forefathers have lived and died with. This issue of lack of trust is as a result of the changing world in terms of orientation and our rush for acquiring the status of a civilized lot. Couple with this is also the government’s nonchalant attitude of fending for the citizenry that results in thousands of our youths daily roaming the streets looking for what to eat (Muhammad, 2010).

Integration of Almajiri education becomes necessary due to the predicaments of traditional Almajiri education system. Integration is the merging of the two system of education together i.e. the combination of the western system of education with Qur’anic system of education. The establishment of Almajiri Integrated Schools (A.I.S) across the country is one of the government’s intervention strategies to curtail the menace of street begging by children and youth in the name of pursuing Qur’anic education. The school is to accommodate the Almajiri who are coming to the city from far and near villages for Qur’anic knowledge. They mostly arrive without provisions and other essential needs; consequently they move from house to house, street, motor parks, restaurants and other public places. Gradually, they become exposed to child abuse, neglect, health hazard, hawking and other forms of social vices. Many of the Almajirai are orphans and vulnerable children. The purpose of the integration of the two system of education is to provide educational opportunities for these categories of children to acquire Traditional Qur’anic Education and Basic Western Education so as  to improve their living condition  and empower the Almajirai and their

Malams. This will also enable each state of the federation to achieve Education for ALL (E.F.A) and Millennium Development Goals (M.D.Gs).

The present Sokoto state government under the leadership of Dr. Aliyu Magatarkar Wamako has taken a bold step through the establishment of Almajiri Integrated Model School in Dange-Shuni and Almajiri Islamiyya Integrated Model School Gagi, Sokoto state. The Almajiri Schools, unlike other schools established under Ministry of Education or Ministry for Science and Technology, is established under the Ministry for Religious Affairs. Since the creation of the school, Almajiri within and outside the state has been enrolled while teaching and learning process had commence.

Therefore, this research work intends to investigate the achievements and shortcomings of the programme and student of Almajiri Integrated Model School Dange- Shuni and Almajiri Islamiyya Integrated Model School Gagi since inception with a view to proffer recommendations while highlighting their achievements and shortcomings.

Statement of the Problem

The way Almajiri system of education is being practiced in the northern part of Nigeria and more particularly Sokoto is an eyesore that need urgent attention in order to rescue the situation. The Almajiri system of education has turned its students to tools for money making for their teachers. To feed and cloth themselves, they have to always roam about the streets, public and private places, begging for money. They also render services as plate washers in restaurants and even find themselves in nefarious places, which make some of the Almajiri to result in intermingling with bad people, engaging in prohibited conducts like pocket picking, stealing, or being mobilized to promote violence in return for money. They waste their time in other unnecessary activities instead of acquiring knowledge. These acts make them get exposed to diseases and other hazards.

Integration of the traditional Almajiri education becomes necessary in order to eradicate the problems associated with it. The reasons for the integration are to reinforce the talent of the learners to read, write and memorize the Qur’an and to introduce secular subjects into Qur’anic school thereby making the products literate, numerate and to provide adequate and qualitative instructional materials in both Islamic and secular subjects. Hence, this

research focused to investigate the achievements and shortcomings of Almajiri Integrated Model Schools in Dange-Shuni and Almajiri Islamiyya Integrated Model School Gagi, Sokoto state in relation to the students’ performance and the integration programme itself.

Objectives of the Study

The study has the general aim of finding out the achievements and shortcomings of Almajiri Integrated Model Schools in Dange-Shuni and Almajiri Islamiyya Integrated Model School Gagi, Sokoto state. The study has the following specific objectives:

i. To find out whether the schools have qualified teachers?

ii. To find out whether the government provide essential teaching materials for the schools?

iii. To find out whether the school environments are conducive for teaching and learning process?

iv. To find out whether the students are coping with the integration programme?

v. To find out whether the schools receive adequate financial support from the government?

Research Questions

This work intends to find answers to the following questions:

i. Are there qualified teachers in the school?

ii. Is the government providing essential teaching materials for school?

iii. Is the school environment conducive for teaching and learning process?

iv. Are the students coping with the integration programme?

v. Are the schools receiving adequate financial support from the government?

Significance of the Study

The information and findings of this study will be of great importance to government, non governmental agencies, teachers, and other stakeholders who are involved in Almajiri education. This will enable them to tackle the problems that the Almajiri and the programme are encountering. The parents will also find useful the contents and findings of this study as it will educate them more on the proper ways to educate their children.

It is also hoped that this study will add to the existing knowledge and literatures on integrated Almajiri education and as well serve as reference material for those who want to carry further investigation in the area.

Scope and Delimitation of the Study

This study will focus on Sokoto state and will be limited to the Almajiri integrated Model Schools in Dange-Shuni and Almajiri Islamiyya Integrated Model School Gagi, Sokoto state only.

Moreover, due to time factor, financial constraints and other unforeseen problems, the study will be restricted to the populations of Junior Secondary School Students of Almajiri Integrated Model School in Dange-Shuni and Almajiri-Islamiyya Integrated Model School Gagi, Sokoto state.

In addition, the study will also examine the progress of the programme and the problems faced by both the students and the school.

Definition of Terms

The following are the definitions of key concepts used in this study: Almajiri: This refers to pupils/students of traditional Qur’anic school. Malam: A person that has knowledge in diverse aspects of Islam

Integrated School: This refers to combination of joining of two systems of education together in one school

Traditional Qur’anic School: This refers to school boarding systems of non-formal education of Islamic Religious Knowledge.

CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

Introduction

This chapter discussed the meaning and origin of Almajiri, objectives of the Almajiri system of education, problems of Almajiri system of education, Need for integration of Almajiri education, the objectives of integrating of the two systems and government intervention in Almajiri education.

The Meaning and Origin of Almajiri

The word ‘Almajiri’ is derived from the Arabic word ‘Almuhajirun’ migrants in Hausa land. It refers to a traditional method of acquiring and memorizing the glorious Qur’an where boys at their tender ages are sent out by their parents or guardians to other villages, towns or cities for Qur’anic education under a knowledgeable Islamic scholar called Malam. According to Bambale (2003) Almajirai (plural of Almajiri) are categorized into three (3) classes:

i. Gardi (Adult)

ii. Titibiri (Adolescent) and

iii. Kolo (An infant)

The Gardi (Adult) engage in some labour-intensive service for a means of livelihood while the Kolo (Infant) and Titibiri (Adolescent) beg for alms/food.

Almajirci is the activities in which Almajiri (pupil/student of traditional Qur’anic schools) get involve during the process of acquiring Qur’anic and Islamic education. It is an educational system that is primarily Islamic. According to Alkali (2001) Almajirci is a semi- formal system of Qur’anic education in which children mostly boys, are sent by their parents to take up residence with Islamic Malams, for instruction in the Qur’anic and other Islamic texts. They further explain that it originated from the Arabic root word Almuhajirun which means “immigrants”, this is an illusion to the time of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) when the people of Mecca migrated to Medina. Traditionally, children would be sent to places far away from their parents, where they would be under the custody of a Malam to acquire religious

knowledge while also learning to fend for themselves. They would beg for alms or serve in their teachers farms as a means of compensation for their religious education and upbringing.

Also, studies by Ayuba (2009) indicate that seeking for knowledge practice is religiously legitimized since the Prophet (S.A.W) was reported to have advised Muslims to travel in search of knowledge even up to China. It is said In an Hadith that:

“Whoever able set out seeking knowledge will be walking in the path of God until his return and whoever dies while in pursuit of learning will be regarded as Martyr.”

This is the reason why Islamic scholars travel and migrate to different parts of the world in search of knowledge with their students, but right from initial stage begging was not a virtue of this practice as the prophet of Islam discourage begging. As the prophet said that it is better for a believer to go and cut firewood in the bush and sell than beg.

Ibrahim (2010) observed that Islam encourages people to seek knowledge but does not in any way promote begging or allow children to be wandering on empty stomachs under the guise of searching for Qur’anic education.

Almajiri System of Education

Almajiri education is an aspect of Northern Nigeria Islamic Education system. It is semiformal education in which children between the ages of four and eighteen are assigned to wandering Islamic teachers usually referred to as Malams to learn the Qur’an and also acquire some forms of Islamic knowledge. Though Almajirci is a good system, but the phenomenon as it is being practiced in the northern part of Nigeria is iniquitous, obsolete and it needs a concerted effort to reform. The problem is not with the system but the process, the traditional Qur’anic schools still remain mostly one classroom located outside a mosque, private house or under a tree. The school environment in most cases tends to be unfriendly, overcrowded and unhygienic.

The negative impact of the system is child labour in which Almajirai must assist their teachers in earning what to eat with their families and they also have to earn a living by begging not only to feed themselves but also to contribute to the welfare of the Malams (teachers). These Qur’anic schools have their own types of syllabus, methodology, time table and several years before the child graduates. The system evolved with good intention, and it is serving a good purpose, but nowadays the Almajiri system has turn Almajirai (pupils) to be tools for money making for their Malams, some are even required to give a fixed amount on daily basis, feed themselves and clothed themselves, so they have to always roam about at motor parks house to house, the streets and other public places begging for money just to escape punishment from the Malams. They render services as plate washers in restaurants and even in unwanted places, which make some of the Almajirai to intermingling with bad people, engaging in prohibited conducts like pocket picking, stealing, or being mobilized by other people to promote violence in return for money. They even waste their time in other unnecessary activities instead of acquiring knowledge.

Bako and Sule (1994) observed that, in Northern Nigeria, the Qur’anic school system predated the western education system, but the majority of the population still looks upon the Qur’anic system to provide training for their offspring. In fact, most families view the Qur’anic system as integrated educational set up with the capacity to provide training for children. But unfortunately, the realities of the system has changed, it is not in a position to carry on with its traditional task as before.

That the degeneration of the Qur’anic school system into the present state of not being able to provide adequate care for its pupils and students had its roots in the history of the socio-economic, political and cultural transformation of the society in Nigeria. They added that the colonial experience was the turning point in the history of this transformation. It is believed that to acquire Islamic education is the creation of a good and righteous man and Islam is a religion that is primarily based on education. It encourages literacy pursuit and enjoin its followers to seek more and more knowledge generally (Abdulmalik, 2008). Furthermore, Islam attaches great importance to knowledge and considers it the basis of human development and key to the growth of culture and civilization.

Aims of Almajiri Education

Almajiri system of education is associated with Qur’anic education, which in northern Nigeria the Qur’anic schools system predates western system of education in fact, most parts of the Northern Nigeria; Qur’anic system predates even the Usmanu Danfodio Jihad (Sule, 2002). The aims and objectives of Qur’anic system of education are to produce a faithful and piety man that will be useful to the society in general. Ja’afar (2008) declared that the Almajirci system of education is the intellectual and moral training of pupils and students. The intellectual objectives are of two types depending on the type of enrollment in the school. Thus, the intellectual objective for pupils/students enrolled under the domestic type is mostly restricted to expose them to reading and writing of Glorious Qur’an only. As for the boarding ones, their enrollment mostly aimed at producing future teachers and professionals in various fields, such as Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), Sirah of the prophets among others. While the second objective of the Almajiri system which is the provision of moral development of the pupils which can be achieved through different means. These according to Jaafar (2008) include the teaching of good habits, manners like eating, drinking habit, greetings, respect for elders, relatives and neighbor, proper dressing etc. Furthermore, pupils are also taught to shun away from the forbidden acts as telling lies, deceitfulness, alcoholic drinks, adultery, gambling and dishonesty among others through admonishing and preaching.

Dahiru (2011) observed that since the goals of Qur’anic schools are infuse, the complete knowledge of the Qur’anic and Islamic education is a way of absorbing moral values and spiritual sanctity for the individual here on earth and in the hereafter. He therefore itemized the following as specific objectives of Qur’anic education.

i. Ensure that children read and recite the Qur’an

ii. Children become fully inducted into Islamic moral values in all behaviors

iii. Children become as knowledgeable in Arabic language and basic Islamic sciences as a foundation for further studies

Abdulmalik (2008) stated that in Islam, education is conceived as process of self discipline which involves physical, mental and spiritual training of man. It aimed at producing well disciplined, highly skilful and responsible human beings who are conscious of their

duties to Almighty Allah and commitments to the service of their society. According to Sule (2002) the main aim and objective of Almajiri education is to enable one to live a life of a good Muslim, benefit himself and his society.

Goals of integrating Almajiri education

The following are the goals of Integrating Almajiri Education:

i. To provide a conducive and organized learning environment that will ensure

Almajirai acquire both Qur’anic and Modern Basic Education.

ii. To provide an integrated curriculum that promotes the study of Al-Qur’an and basic education subjects.

iii. To provide the Almajirai with opportunities to acquire knowledge and vocational skills and that will enable them to be self-reliant and useful to their communities.

iv. To provide sound foundation for Tajweed and Tahfeez for Almajirai

v. To provide opportunities for graduates of the school to further their studies

vi. To provide health and sanitary condition, physical and social security and social welfare that ensures protection of Almajirai from all forms of danger

Furthermore, the goals of integrating the two systems are to improve living condition and empower the Almajirai and their Malams. Also to eradicate all negative practices of Almajirci system especially that of teenage children involvement in begging. Moreover, Mahuta (2009), Dahiru (2011), and Bunza (2009) all declared the goals of integrating the two systems of education in their works as follows:

a. To accord the Islamic system of education an official status and formal recognition

b. To integrate element of Basic Education into Qur’anic school system without interfering with the goals of the Qur’anic system. These shall be with the view to improve their capacities and empowering them

c. To introduce into the Islamic education curriculum some modern subjects of science, mathematics, languages and other aspects of life skills found in the curriculum of modern secular curriculum

d. To acquire skills and competence necessary for entry to primary and secondary schools as well as tertiary and University Education

e. To make the products of the system useful and acceptable to members of their communities, introduce elements of Basic Education into the Qur’anic school thereby making the products literate, numerate and to enable them acquire manipulative and survival skills in the modern formal system to meet the goals of Education For All (E.F.A)

f. To provide conducive learning environment in the Qur’anic schools and inculcate in the learners’ knowledge of some Islamic rites that will be taught from the Qur’an, Hadith, Figh, Sirah and Tahdhib.

g. To provide bases for capacity development in the Qur’anic school system through training and retraining of its operators and teachers

h. To increase the number of schools enrollment thereby greatly reducing the number of out of school children on the streets and to improve the health condition of the Qur’anic or Almajiranci school children

Struggles towards integration of the Almajiri schools

The first official attempt to put a halt on the practice of migrant Qur’anic schooling system was started by Kano Native Authority as far back as 1959 when it warned parents against allowing their children to roam the streets begging in the name of Islamic school. Qur’anic school teachers were warned against taking their pupils to other towns without the approval of the villages head or district head of targeted town. But this effort does not yield any fruitful result and even make some Malams to campaign against the local authority, accusing them of trying to undermine Islam (Abba, 1983). Khalid (2002) lamented that since then (1959) it was in 1980 that state government in the Northern part of Nigeria began to express their concern about Almajiri phenomenon, starting with clearing beggars from the street particularly the Kano State Government enacted an edict, tagged the Qur’anic school registration in 1980 (after the June 1980 Maitatsine crisis) and subsequently amended in 1988 to read: Qur’anic schools (Registration and movement).

Khalid (2002) further explained that Sokoto State Government signed into law an edict regulating the movement of Almajirai entitled “The control of juvenile accompanying Qur’anic Malams adoptive rules” and the State Government appointed a committee on control of migrants in 1986 in order to enable the government to determine the needs of these

children, provide such needs, to settle the children in their places domicile so that they could undertake studies in both Islamic and Western education in their homes and villages.

During pre-independence, Muslim parents response to the Christian evangelical nature of early public education process that interfered with the religious up-bringing of the children, concerned Muslim scholars, organizations and groups and initiated several integration projects by establishing their own separate religious and secular subjects (Fafunwa, 1990; Junaid et al., 2005). Notable among these past attempts were the efforts of the Ansar’udeen Society of Nigeria in 1920. This disparate group and individual attempts were later galvanized by the colonial government in its response to growing agitation by Muslim groups which culminated into the establishment of post-elementary integrated schools such as the Kano and Sokoto Kadi (Judicial) schools and school for Arabic Studies in Kano (Dahiru, 2011). “There were other similar efforts made to establish integrated primary school in Zaria in 1959 as the Nizzamiyya Islamic Primary School was established in 1960s” (Umar, 2003:4).

After interdependence, the northern states established other integrated post-primary schools such as the Arabic Teachers College i.e. the present Sheikh Abubakar Mahmud Gummi Memorial College, Sokoto and Sultan Abubakar College, Sokoto to train teachers for the Qur’anic and Islamic schools. These types of schools and many women Arabic Teachers College were established in Katsina, Gombe, Kano and Maiduguri. Bunza (2009) and Dahiru (2011) stated that several Islamic organizations started establishing Model Primary Schools from 1980s. Prominent among them were The Islamic Education Trust (IET) Minna and Sokoto; The Islamic Trust of Nigeria (ITN), Zaria; The Islamic Foundation, Kano; The Hudabiyyah Foundation, Kano; FOMWAN, JIBWIS and the Da’awah Group of Nigeria, Kano. The most recent of these trends is the establishment of Tahfeez Schools at the primary level and integrated Islamic secondary schools. This rapid increase as noted by Junaid et al., (2005) and Dahiru (2011) attracted the attention of several interest groups, local and international NGOs and other development partners and Donor Agencies. The Federal Government’s Intervention into the issue of Qur’anic schools was first announced in March, 1977 and maintained this position ever since then (Mahuta, 2009). “This is the reason why in September 1999 Universal Basic and compulsory primary education scheme U.B.E was

launched with the aim of achieving the total enrollment of schools age children into school” (Sifawa, 2006:564).

Similarly, the present government of President Jonathan had touched on the sensitive matter of protection of life and property of Nigerians where ever they choose to live at the flag-off of his campaign in the Northeast. Also all through his election campaigns, the provision of formal and Islamic education to over 9.5 million Almajirai was a point of discussion (Laniyan, 2011). Furthermore, in an NTA Abuja Network discussion of Vice President Architect Namadi Sambo on Monday 28th March, 2011 on how Nigeria will achieve its aims in 2020. On his speech, he declared that every child of Nigeria has equal right to all aspect of life especially education through Universal Basic Education and that 9.5 million Nigerian children that are selling pure water on the street and begging are Almajiri children of Qur’anic traditional schools, so according to him, to eradicate the problem, their administration has started building boarding Almajiri integrated model schools in which they enroll these children and give them both Islamic education together with western education with their Malams (teachers) being employed to teach Qur’anic and other Islamic tenet subjects in the schools.

In recent times Kaduna, Kano, Borno, Niger, Adamawa, Sokoto and other states in the regions have started given the Almajiri system the required attention. In Kaduna state for instance, the state government had since completed the building of an ultra-modern school in Zaria named Bi-Lingual Boarding primary school for Almajiri. Also, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state during his regime had also started integrating Almajiri/Madrasat system of education with its own nomadic education programme, even before the Federal Government’s Policy of Integrating. While Niger state government has since began moves to integrate the Almajirai into formal school system. A committee set up to advice the government on the possibility of merging the two systems headed by Emir of Suleja, Malam Muhammad Auwal Ibrahim submitted its findings to the government, which had released a white paper and commenced the implementation of provisions of the white paper. The committee discovered that there were 8,210 Qur’anic schools in the state with a total enrollment of 586,521 students manned by 15895 Malams. The report showed that most of the Almajirai and their teachers are from as far as Maiduguri and Funtua in Katsina state.

Sokoto state government, under the administration of His Excellency Alh. Dr. Aliyu Magatakarda established a Ministry for Religious Affairs. This ministry has taken up the Almajiri issue very seriously (Ghani, 2009:21). Ghani (2009) continued that the state has approved N15.6 million for the establishment of Almajiri Integrated Model Schools (AIMS) in some strategic locations across the state and that the pupils/students will benefit through provision of boarding facilities with the Tsangaya Schools (Traditional Qur’anic Boarding Schools) with free feeding, uniforms, mattress, adequate funding, adequate education facilities, healthcare, textbooks, writing materials. The teachers will be paid adequate allowances and each of the school will be equipped with a conference hall, a sport playing ground, staff quarters, students’ hostels, in addition to adequate and appropriate classrooms. Such integrated model schools are already functioning in Gagi and Shuni local government area of Sokoto state, with enrollment of Almajiri from traditional Qur’anic Boarding schools into primary and junior secondary school.

Consequence of integrating Almajiri education

The current trend of integrating both Qur’anic educations with the Western System of Education is progressing at all governmental levels; be it federal, state and local government. This is a sign that the trend will be fruitful. However, the fruit of the effort may not be immediate but in future. Umar (2003) list the following anticipated consequences of integrating Almajiri education on the society:

1. Enrollment of Almajiri from Makarantar Allo into the integrated Almajiri school will drastically reduce the number of beggars on the street, restaurant and other public places

2. All the hazards and communicable diseases that Almajirai are exposed to will be avoided

3. Exposures of Almajiri to bad behavior and other social vices such as theft, drug addiction, pocket picking etc. will be eradicated

4. All society threats in the nation such as post election violence in Jos and most recently Boko Haram Bombings in the north, which has element of Almajiri as perpetrators will be halted

5. Integrated Almajiri Education has standard curriculum and duration of programme hence it will reduce time wastage

6. Knowledge acquisition at integrated Almajiri school will not be limited to Qur’anic and Western Education but will also include other vocational skills (e.g. Mechanic, Technician, Fashion Designer, Vulcanizing, Barbing etc.) that will make them to be self reliant thereby reducing their poverty level

7. Employment of the Almajiri Malams (teachers) will also salvage them from poverty

8. Honour and dignity will be accorded to the student, graduates and teachers of integrated Almajiri School in the society as their mode of dressing and way of life will be totally different from the tradition Almajirai.

Summary and Uniqueness of the Study

The concept of integration as clearly understood in this study, is the introduction of the elements of basic education, i.e. the literacy, numeracy and life skills of the western type of education into the traditional Qur’anic school system. In other words, it connotes injecting the essential components of public schools into Qur’anic schools (Mahuta, 2009). The concept of integration here means to join elements of basis education that is, western type of education together with traditional Qur’anic school systems without interfering with the goals of the Qur’anic school system. But just to strengthen the ability of the learners to read, write and remembers the Qur’anic school system thereby making the products literate, numerate and to enable them acquire manipulative and survival skills in the modern formal system to meet the goals of Education For All (E.F.A) and to eradicate Almajirci method of involving teenage children into street begging, hard labour, unhygienic condition, social vices and also to provide adequate and qualitative instructional materials in both Islamic and secular subjects.

This will help in empowering and improving the welfare of Malams through receiving salary and enjoying of allowances for them to live happily. Various efforts had been made over the years by groups, individuals, organizations and governments towards a successful integration of the Qur’anic school or Islamic education into the Western Education System, such attempts had achieved varying degrees of success. What is required is to strengthen and build upon them. The integrated Almajiri schools are to offer the following core subjects,

English, Science, Mathematics, Social Studies together with Hausa, Computer, P.H.E and Handwriting under formal system of education with Agriculture, Trade, Commerce, handcraft, Mechanic, vulcanizing and Islamic Calligraphy among others as vocational skills of their curriculum. While the component to the curriculum of non-formal education is Qur’anic education which involve strong foundation in recitation of the Glorious Qur’an and Islamic studying include Qira’atul Qur’an, Tahfeez, Tajweed, Arabic, Islamic Studies, Tauhid, Hadith, Fiqh and Sirah.

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ACHIEVEMENTS AND SHORTCOMINGS OF ALMAJIRI INTEGRATED SCHOOLS IN SOKOTO STATE: THE JOURNEY SO FAR


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    Sampson, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
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    Musa, Federal University of Technology Minna
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    Ali Obafemi, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Niger State.
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