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Sokoto mulls Indonesian education model to address Almajiri challenge

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Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal is eyeing the Indonesian Pondok Pesantren Madrasah system of education to address the Almajiri challenge in Sokoto State.

He dropped the hint when he received the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, AVM Usra General Harahap, during a courtesy visit on Sunday at the Government House, Sokoto.

The Indonesian model employs mosques and Langgar (a blend of Islamic and western education) as well as adopts existing local institutions such as Surau (Islamic buildings) and Pesantren (a Muslim school in the Southeast Asian nation operated by religious leaders) as the places for Muslims to study Islam.

The governor explained that for the state government to have a homegrown system similar to the Pondok system, it would consult the Sultan of Sokoto and other stakeholders for their advice.

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Tambuwal added that his administration was not in a hurry to ban the Almajiri system as some states in the north had done without providing an alternative

The governor’s reservations were contained in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mallam Muhammad Bello.

According to the aide, the governor expressed confidence that the Pondok example “could serve as an alternative to the Almajiri system.”

“We are intensifying efforts to ensure that the Pondok model 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 stated.

Expressing gratitude to the Indonesian government for taking interest in the state, the governor assured the envoy that his visit would deepen the Asian nation’s relationship with not only Sokoto but also Nigeria, with which it shares similar religious, cultural and climatic identities.

He said the state was already pursuing more ties with Indonesia in the areas of healthcare, economy, Islamic models of business and economic enterprises.

Tambuwal applauded the Indonesian government for agreeing to send experts to share knowledge with the North West state on economic inclusion derivatives.

Earlier, the diplomat said his visit “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.”

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