by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Two non-governmental organizations in Kaduna State have recently distributed a large number of Arabic learning aids to several Tsangaya Islamic Schools, aimed at strengthening Islamic education among Almajiri schools in Kaduna.
They include: the Women and Children’s Rights and Empowerment Foundation of Nigeria (WCREFN) and the Muslim Peace Networks (MPN), respectively.
Barrister Maryam Abdu, who is Director of the Women and Children’s Rights and Empowerment Foundation of Nigeria, stated that the two organizations have collaborated to distribute study aids to Almajiri schools, with the goal of helping them improve their studies, similar to students in Western schools.
The materials distributed includes Arabic reading slates, inks and pens to enabling many students to enhance their Arabic language skills, including reading, recitation, and writing.
She emphasized that they provided Arabic reading slates, inks, and pens to many students to enable them to enhance their learning in Arabic education, recitation, reading, and writing of Arabic words.
Maryam pointed out that, before the arrival of colonial masters, Qur’anic education was considered basic education in Northern Nigeria. She however, noted that after the arrival of colonialists, Qur’anic education was downplayed, and Western education became more important.
“As a result, the system suffered, funding and support ceased, and the children transition from seekers of Qur’anic knowledge to the Almajirai we see on the streets today, begging for food because their Mallams cannot feed them,” she noted, adding that “the two organizations aimed to find a way to improve the standards of Almajiri education and the school system as a whole.”
“The distribution of these materials took place as Muslims around the world are preparing to celebrate the arrival of the new Islamic Year, known as Muharram. It also coincides with the upcoming International Friendship Day on July 30, 2023.”
Similarly, Imam Husain, the director of Muslim Peace Networks in Kaduna, stressed the need to strengthen peace and unity in the state. He emphasized the importance of Arabic education and the necessity of providing students with the tools to acquire sound knowledge.
According to him, there is a need for inclusive education for all children across the 23 local governments of the state, regardless of tribe, culture, religion, or historical background.
“The provision of reading and writing aids to Almajiri schools aims to empower them with additional learning materials to improve the standard of their Arabic education.
“The significance of educating these children with learning aids cannot be overstated and, therefore, all stakeholders are called upon to support this cause within their capacity,” Imam Husain stated.
Alaramma Saliyu Muhammad, the Chairman of the Association of Tsangaya Schools in Kaduna South, expressed gratitude for the support and encouragement towards the education of their children.
He appealed to the government and other stakeholders involved in Almajiri education to provide further learning materials. He also urged affluent individuals to come forward and assist the students with learning materials.
He concluded by emphasizing the importance of Islamic education, including its role in promoting moral and ethical values, encouraging critical thinking, fostering community and social relations, combating extremism and terrorism, providing professional skills, preparing students for higher education, and promoting cultural awareness and appreciation.
He called on the Ministry of Education and stakeholders involved in Tsangaya education to enhance the standards of education in this field.