Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
The Sokoto State Government is planning on adopting the Indonesian Pondok Pesantren Madrasah system of education as an alternative to the existing Almajiri system in the state.
The state governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, stated this Sunday when he received the Indonesian ambassador to Nigeria, AVM Usra Hendra Harahap, during his courtesy visit to Sokoto.
In a statement made available by the governor’s Special Adviser on Media and publicity, Muhammad Bello, Tambuwal explained that the Pondok system employs mosques and langgar (a blend of Islamic and Western education) as well as adopts existing local institutions such as Surau (Islamic assembly buildings) and Pesantren (a Muslim school in Indonesia operated by religious leaders) as the places for Muslims to study Islam.
Tambuwal further explained that for the state government to have a homegrown system similar to the Pondok, it will consult the Sultan of Sokoto and other stakeholders.
The state government, the governor noted, is not in a hurry to ban the Almajiri system as some states had done without providing an alternative.
He expressed confidence that the Pondok system once adopted “can serve as an alternative to the Almajiri system.”
“We are intensifying efforts to ensure that the Pondok system is adopted before banning the Almajiri system. This is because we are desirous of ensuring that Sokoto children are exposed to both Western and Islamic education,” Tambuwal emphasised.
While expressing gratitude to the Indonesian government for taking an interest in Sokoto, he assured the Ambassador that his visit will deepen Indonesia’s relationship not only with the state but also the country, with which it shares religious, cultural and climatic similarities.
He said that the state was already pursuing further ties with Indonesia in the areas of healthcare, economy, Islamic models of business and economic enterprises.
Tambuwal further applauded the Indonesian government for agreeing to send experts to share knowledge with the state on economic inclusion derivatives.
Earlier, Ambassador Harahap had explained that his visit to the state “is to increase the bilateral relations and cooperation between Indonesia and Nigeria, especially in Sokoto state in the areas of education and agriculture, including animal husbandry.”
Giving reasons why it is feasible for the state to have a good relationship with his country, Mr Harahap said his country will “be glad to share its best practices and most advanced scientific knowledge” with the state “to boost animal production.”