Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state has said that every child must have access to free education, noting that the almajiris will be integrated into the state education system.
Addressing a stakeholders’ meeting on Friday in Zaria, in continuation of APC campaign tour, he said that government has doubled primary school enrollment, as his administration is determined to solve the almajiri problem through access to free education.
El-Rufai stated further that Kaduna state government has already passed a law to make education up to junior secondary school compulsory, adding that Northern governors have also discussed a holistic solution to the Almajiri issue.
El-Rufai said that Kaduna state has evolved a solution to the problem that will involve having a uniform curriculum for basic education, where schools will teach both Islamic and western education simultaneously.
‘’In primary school up to junior secondary school, Islamic education will be taught as a subject. We don’t want Almajiri schools to operate separately. Regular schools will teach every Islamic topic that is being taught in Almajiri schools. That was how we learnt Islamic studies in our days,’’ he said.
El-Rufai however disclosed that the Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank(IDB) has promised to give Nigeria a grant of $35 million in order to integrate Islamic and Western education so as to curb the Almajiri system. He said that Kaduna has been chosen as one of the states where the pilot programme will commence when the funds are available.
El-Rufai promised that when the funds arrive, he will meet with Islamic clerics and other stakeholders to fashion out the modalities of the proposed integration of Western and Islamic education under one roof. He said that that is the only panacea to the Almajiri problem, stating further that if the Kaduna state pilot scheme succeeds, other states will key into the project.
The Governor reminded the participants that his administration is implementing a major programme to solve the problems bedevilling the education sector in the state.