Desmond Mgboh, Kano
Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II, has expressed concern that several years after Nigeria’s Independence, the country has failed to accord due recognition to the Islamic system of education.
Sanusi spoke at the launch of a Hausa Ducu- drama (Duniya Juyi Juyi) on Almajiri System of Education held at the Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Kano at the weekend.
The film was produced by a German national, Ms Hannah Hoechner, who also launched a book on “Qur’anic Schools in Northern Nigeria”.
The monarch was worried that Qur’anic scholars are treated less than their counterparts in other fields of knowledge while their pupils are regarded as ‘Out of School Children’ by the society.
“No matter the number of books you read in Arabic or through the Almajir System as long as it is not through English, you are an illiterate according to the Nigeria system” he lamented.
The emir argued that since the definition of literacy is the ability to read and write, Almajiri scholars and their pupils should be recognized as literate scholars, having fulfilled these requirements.
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He maintained that these pupils and their teachers could read and write in Arabic or Ajani (Hausa writing in Arabic text), while adding that the Almajir System of Education has been in existence for the past 500 – 600 years.
“Even Emir Muhammadu Rumfa of Kano used to send people to Borno and Mauritania to learn quoranic education and Islamic jurisprudence” he recalled.
While not undermining the position of English language in Nigeria, he appealed to Northern governors to emulate countries such as Malysia, China and Egypt, who teach courses such as Medicine, Engineering, Agriculture and other critical courses in their respective local languages.
The author of the book in her remarks, said that the book was extracted from her PhD thesis adding that the production process of the docu – drama was done by Almajiris between July and October 2011 on Thursdays and Fridays (School free days).