Shehu Muhammad-Makarfi, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Education, says the state government will integrate Almajiri Schools into the formal education system.
He made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while inspecting 2018/2019 Common Entrance Examination in Zaria zone on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commissioner visited Barewa College, Science Secondary School, Kufena and Alhudahuda College, Zaria.
Mr Muhammad-Makarfi said the government would discuss with Quranic teachers to assuage their fears and agree on a format for the full integration of the Almajiri schools.
“We want to meet them in order to identify problems and agree on ways to address them for the smooth integration of Islamic schools into formal education.”
He said that part of the government’s plan was for the Almajiri school students to attend formal schools in the morning.
“The Almajiris will be allowed to do their normal Qur’anic studies but they will be taught English and Mathematics, from there we will get to know their actual problems,” he said.
The commissioner noted that selfishness and ignorance were largely driving fears among stakeholders on the integration of the two education systems.
“There is nothing wrong in accommodating an Almajiri into classrooms.
“Let them come in and study, but they should bear in mind that they will be taught formal education, we don’t want a situation where pupils are going round without formal education.
“Our main concern is for this category of persons to be educated formally.
“Remember that they can memorise Holy Qur’an and when you eventually give them the chance for formal education you will be surprised with their performance.
“What we are looking at is the greatness of Holy Qur’an, it is not fair that before a boy gets Qur’anic education, he must remain in a dirty area, this is our main bone of contention.
“However, we know there are some people amongst us who don’t want this kind of idea to succeed, but we are appealing to all to accept the new idea in good faith,” Mr Muhammad-Makarfi said.
According to him, under the new system, the government will not discriminate against any sect.
“It is the responsibility of government to provide education to all manner of people, we want all children to come to school to be better citizens tomorrow.
“We don’t claim that we have a solution, as such we want more information that will assist towards proffering solution to the menace and we hope all hands will be on deck to achieve the set target,” he said.