The Borno State government has disclosed plans to establish Higher Islamic Colleges across the 27 local government areas of the state.
It is part of moves to integrate basic education into Qur’anic education.
Governor Babagana Zulum disclosed this in Maiduguri, the state capital, during the commencement of a three-day public hearing organised by the High-Powered Committee on Reform of Sangaya System of Education in Borno.
Zulum explained the college would serve as Islamic Centre for research on Islamic education, vocational training, and science and technology, adding that already construction of the colleges had commenced in Monguno and Gubio to be followed by the one in Kwaya-Kusar.
Stressing the importance of education, Zulum said adequate budgetary provision had been made in the current 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.
According to Adamu, research in 2018 showed that there is two million out-of-school children in Northeast out of which 330,000 are from Borno State.
Adamu 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.
The Chairman of the committee, Sheikh Khalifa Abulfathi, had earlier said all eyes were on Borno for the bold steps taken by Zulum to salvage the Almajiri system.
Abbulfathi said the committee was committed to a thorough job to ensure that Borno State maintains its position as a pacesetter in Qur’anic education.