Borno to establish 27 integrated Islamic colleges

Muslim pupils in a Madrasah

The Borno State government has said it will establish Higher Islamic Colleges in the 27 local government areas as part of measures to integrate basic education into Qur’anic education.

Governor Babagana Zulum made this known in Maiduguri, the state capital while declaring open a three-day public hearing organised by the High-Powered Committee on Reform of Tsangaya System of Education in Borno.

Zulum said the college would serve as Islamic Centre for research on Islamic education, vocational training, and science and technology.

He said already construction of the colleges has commenced in Monguno and Gubio to be followed by the one in Kwaya-Kusar.

The governor, who stressed the importance of education, said adequate budgetary provision had been made in this year’s budget for Sangaya education, adding that members of the high-powered committee will, after the submission of their report, be allowed to continue as members of the implementation committee to actualise the programme.

The representative of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Danjuma Adamu, who is the board member representing Northeast in UBEC, praised the government for its commitment to address the nagging problem of out-of-school children, particularly the Almajiris who had been reduced to destitute and beggars.

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Adamu quoted a 2018 data from the Federal Ministry of Education, which showed that there are two million out-of-school children in Northeast out of which 330,000 are from Borno State.

He also recalled that in 2010, the Federal Government set up a committee to integrate basic education into the Qur’anic education and Sangaya schools where 175 model Almajiri schools were constructed with about 200 Almajiri sub-centres.

He, however, regretted that states involved, including Borno, failed to implement the memorandum of understanding signed with the Federal Government.

“Some of the projects were completely abandoned or converted into other uses such as military schools, and military camps because nobody utilised them for the purpose intended,” Adamu said.

He noted that with the commitment shown by Zulum’s administration, UBEC has found a partner in progress in addressing the plight of Almajiri education.

The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Umar-Garbai, praised the programme which, he said, would address the abuse of Sangaya system, and assured the traditional council’s support for the success of the programme.

He said the abuse of the system, particularly by outsiders who came to Borno for Qur’anic education led to the emergence of Boko Haram led by those who are not indigenous to Borno such as Muhammed Yusuf and Abubakar Shekau.

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The Chairman of the committee, Sheikh Khalifa Abdulfathi, had earlier said all eyes were on Borno for the bold steps taken by Zulum to salvage the Almajiri system.

Abdulfathi said the committee was committed to a thorough job to ensure that Borno State maintains its position as a pacesetter in Qur’anic education.

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