CEDDERT Organized A Two Day Conference On Transforming Almajiri System in Northern Nigeria

Written by Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff is a team of writers and editors trusted by over 50.3 million readers from Northern Nigeria

October 15, 2022

The Centre for Democratic Development Research and Training (CEDDERT) has organized a two-day regional conference on Transforming the Almajiri System of Education in Northern Nigeria at The Fabs Hotel, Zaria Kaduna State, from 28th – 29th September 2022. The conference was staged to map out solutions to the issues surrounding the educational system of the Almajiri and to see ways in which people can collaborate for a better chance. 

CEDDERT is a non-profit scholarly trust organization that is independent in its aim to promote and advance scientific research and training to proffer solutions to the problems relating to democratic development from the ground level up to the national level and even across the Pan-African level.

The organization was founded in March 1992.

CEDDERT Conference on Almajiri

The event took off at exactly 10:30 am and was graced by distinguished dignitaries across the Northern states of Nigeria and other countries like Senegal, Ghana, and Niger. 

HRH, Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, who is currently the 19th Fulani Emir of Zazzau, was the Royal father of the day, while Dr. Abubakar Sadiq Mohammed – Director of Centre for Democratic Development Research and Training (CEDDERT), Dr. Kole Shettima – Director MacArthur Foundation Nigeria were all in total attendances. Other attendees include Vice-chancellors, Professors, representatives of organizations, and the general public.

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The event started with an opening prayer, after which the National anthem was sung.

The Speakers

Prof. Abubakar Siddique Mohammed

The Director of CEDDERT, Prof. Abubakar Siddique Mohammed, gave an opening speech on how Almajiri’s education system is quite poor and not paid attention to and the issues surrounding being an Almajiri alongside sharing his experience of some major highlights an Almajiri undergoes. 

The director further explained how CEDDERT has carried out a lot of research on the Almajiri system of education across the country, partnering with other people in the country and other countries like Burkina Faso, Senegal, and Niger, amongst others. 

He also stressed the importance that the Almajiri system exists with its goal and issues and the fact that it has come to stay.  

Dr. Kole Shettima

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The Director of the MacArthur Foundation, Dr. Kole Shettima, described the event organized by CEDDERT as a homecoming because he got to see some faces he never saw. 

He went further to describe how Covid 19 affected the Almajiri and how the issues were reported to the organization’s headquarters in Chicago, which led to the organization of this conference. 

According to the Director, MacArthur Foundation is one that supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks, building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. 

HRH, Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli

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Currently, the 19th Fulani Emir of Zazzau and a banker, lawyer, and diplomat, HRH, spoke about how the Almajiri’s education system is neglected in Northern Nigeria and how the people must make the change they deserve. 

He further talked about how the Almajiri should have access to basic amenities such as water, food, shelter, and quality knowledge to read and recite the Qur’an. 

The royal father suggested scrapping irrelevant courses, not of societal importance from the educational system. Finally, he urged everyone there to rise above their sentiments to achieve the desired goals.

Dr. Aminu Shagagi 

Dr. Aminu made a keynote address where he discussed the importance of knowledge and the blessings in Islam. While speaking, he made some references to the Qurans, quoted some Hadiths and Imams, and spoke about various Islamic books that correlate to the various fields of Islam. 

Prof Abdulkadir Al’amin

The Prof delivered a presentation on behalf of CEDDERT on the topic: Transformation of Almajiri System of Education: Problems, Prospect and Way Forward.

He stated the problems, misconceptions, methodology, and final result as of when the research was carried out. 

Dr. Abubakar Isa 

The University don From the Department of Islamic Studies, University of Maiduguri, Borno State, highlighted some of the contemporary problems affecting Almajiri’s school system in Northern Nigeria using Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, as a case study. 

Prof. Mohammed Bello Yunusa

This speaker stressed the Islamic pupils’ needs and lives, emphasizing the basis of the Almajiri needs and why the system must be upheld. He made everyone understand that Children taken from tender age at the expense of no basic amenities or municipal services are at risk of being frustrated or maltreated. 

Aliyu Sakariyau Alabi 

The lecturer was from the Department of History, Bayero University, Kano State, and he presented the Conundrum of the Almajiri that can be resolved through strategic actions. 

Online Sessions

Two papers were presented via Zoom sessions, and they include The Peril of Almajiranchi in Northern Nigeria and Government’s Struggle in Reforming Tsangaya by Dr. Aisha Mahmoud Hamman, who is a lecturer in the department of Accounting, Ahmadu Bello University, and Repositioning Almajiri Schools in Niger by Dr. Hadiza Nuhu, OON of Herbal point, Abuja.

Because of time constraints, some people could not deliver their papers.

The conference ended around 6:30 pm with prayers wishing everyone a safe journey back to their various destinations. 

Second Day

The event’s second day took off at exactly 10 am with an opening prayer. A lot of speakers spoke about different issues concerning the Almajiri system of Education in the Northern state.

This conference was not restricted to only Nigerian Speakers. 

Al-Amin Algoni Durma 

From Maiduguri, Borno state, the gentleman spoke about what it means to be an Almajiri. These challenges come alongside being an Almajiri and the Almajiri system of education and the solutions to the challenges of the Almajiri system in Northern Nigeria. 

Prof. Isma’ila A. Tsiga

The Professor from the Department of English and literacy studies at Bayero University, Kano state, spoke on the topic: Laying the foundation for the future society: Upgrading the Almajiri System of Education in Northern Nigeria.

The presentation was done first in Arabic and then in the Hausa language. 

Prof. Abdullahi Muhammad El-Okene

Prof Okene runs the IOTB school for the Memorisation of the Holy Qur’an; Hanwa Zaria. He spoke about having complete knowledge and understanding of what Isam is all about and how following the teachings of Shaikh Ibrahim Niass can be helpful.

He further spoke about how the IOTB school for the Memorisation of the Holy Qur’an, Hanwa-Zaria, started, the challenges they faced, the reformation they had to undergo, and the solutions.

Joseph Ki-Zerbo

From Boukaré GANSONRÉ Université, Ouagadougou Burkina Faso, this don spoke about the contemporary problems of the Koranic school in Burkina Faso. He stated that the Koranic school in Burkina Faso is faced with limiting challenges, such as Children sitting on the mat or under the mango tree with the teacher, which makes them uncomfortable and sleepy.

He also spoke about how the Quranic school cannot present itself suitably in this modern day, especially in the city of Burkina Faso. 

Prof. Seyni Moumoun

The Professor from IRSH-Université de Niamey-Niger reminded the listeners of how Nigeria and Niger share similar traits regarding Islamic Culture. He stated that the Quranic school is the oldest basic education in Niger, and the teachings of Islam are spread through the Quranic school.

Prof Seyni Moumouni spoke about the laws guiding the Quranic school, their importance, and their effects. Also explaining how the youths have improved in their speech as a result of learning the Quran with other international languages. 

Prof. Amidu Sanni

The Vice Chancellor of Fountain University, Osogbo, presented a paper titled: A hanging Sword in the Orchard of Hanging Fruits: Interacting with Almajiri Realities and Prospects. 

According to him, the solution to the problem is within us. He further stated that there should be an upgrade on the Almajiri and Arabic traditional literacy while emphasizing the UN SDG4 goals, ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education, promoting lifelong learning opportunities, and incorporating relevant skills for learning.

Umar Jabbi Muhammad (Ph.D.) 

From History Department Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, this speaker spoke on the Critical Reflections on the Almajiri System of Education and Reform strategies in Northern Nigeria. 

Other sessions held on Zoom include; Islamic religious education centers in Senegal and the dynamics of their modernization By Doctor Amadou Moctar SY, Temporary teacher in the Department of Linguistics and Language Sciences at Cheikh Anta DIOP University in Dakar/Senegal, and The Crisis of Almajiranci: Historical perspective and Policy by Prof. Muhammad Sani Umar from the department of History and Diplomatic Studies, University of Abuja, FCT. 

Conclusion

Prof Alkassum Abba of the History Department, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, gave the closing remark, thanked all the participants, and wished everyone a safe journey back to their destinations.

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