Kaduna State Government on Monday, inaugurated a committee to develop a curriculum for the certification of Almajiri school teachers in the state.
Shehu Muhammad, the Commissioner of Education, who inaugurated the committee in Kaduna, said that under the new plan, Almajiri school teachers would earn the National Certificate in Education, NCE.
Mr Muhammad explained that the step was part of efforts to reform the Almajiri and Tsangaya system of education for full integration into the mainstream western education system.
He described the Almajiri system of education as a system where Muslim children at tender age, were being taught basic knowledge of Islam, its values and etiquettes.
The commissioner said that although the Muslim community still cherishes it, the system has been subjected to all kinds of abuse and needed to be reformed in line with current realities.
“This committee is tasked with the responsibility of designing a framework that would produce Almajiri teachers that would have an NCE to be employed in primary and secondary schools.
“The committee will also develop a training and retraining framework of all Almajiri teachers in the state.
“It is also expected to develop the appropriate scale to be used in placing the teachers into the formal education system, and any other thing they deem necessary for the successful integration.
“The curriculum, when developed, will be submitted to the National Council for Colleges of Education, for possible adoption and usage at the national level,” he said.
Mr Muhammad pointed out that although most Almajiri teachers had gone through a system of training, memorised the Qur’an and were versed in Islamic knowledge, they lacked appropriate certification to make them employable.
The commissioner said that the state government had earlier banned street hawking and begging, and would now enact a law to ban children from moving about without guidance.
He noted that getting all Almajiris off the street, would involve developing a system and alternatives, where they can study the Qur’an along with basic reading and writing.
This, according to him, will enable the children to proceed to primary and secondary schools, become better citizens and live a quality life in future.
The commissioner said that the committee had members from the Ministry of Education, Kaduna State University, Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board, Bureau of Interfaith, and Ministry of Human Services and Social Development.
Others, he said include, Sustainable Education Foundation for African Development, AMA Foundation, Kaduna State Schools Quality Assurance Authority, Office of the Head of Service and Tsangaya Schools Association of Nigeria.
He said that the committee has six weeks to conclude its assignment.
The chairman of the committee, Prof. Sani Sambo, Dean, Faculty of Education, Kaduna State University, said that the task before the committee was enormous, but promised to deliver within the time frame.
“We will do the best we can to develop a nearly perfect blueprint for the state government to adopt and achieve the goal of integrating the Almajiri system of education with formal education in the state,” he said.