How Quranic Education Received First Boost from Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau

Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, Dr. Sule Ya'u Sule, Quranic Education, Almajiri schools, Eradication
The entrance to Gwani Muhammadu Dan Gunduwawa Quranic College

How Quranic Education Received First Boost from Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau

Of the many concerns that have dogged Northern Nigeria for so long, none has impacted on its socio-economic wellbeing as the education of its soaring population.

Apart from the way the region has lagged behind its peers in embracing Western type of education, it has also allowed the Islamic-oriented education in which it hitherto had a commanding advantage to slip through its fingers, no thanks to the refusal of the region to enhance its numerous popular Quranic schools through modernization.

While the North knows the value of Quranic education and its populace yearns to attain it as an added value towards achieving perfect life in this world and the hereafter, most of its Quranic schools have remained slavish to the ancient way of itenary scholarship (Almajirci) where a student must leave his community and travel a long distance in search of a knowledgeable Quranic teacher from whom he could learn. This system served well when the learned teachers where scarce and scantily spread across the region.

Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, Dr. Sule Ya'u Sule, Quranic Education, Almajiri schools, Eradication
Senator Ibrahim Shekarau explaining a point to Dr Sule Ya’u Sule at the college, shortly before the commissioning.

But time has changed. Scholars abound everywhere in towns and cities and an appreciable number of Quranic schools have embraced modern pedagogy, with syllabuses that could be meticulously followed to achieve appreciable Quranic knowledge, memorization (Tahfeez) inclusive.

Nevertheless, there still remains the traditional Quranic schools that have not adopted the modern system, and parents still send their wards far and wide to such schools (Makarantun allo) in search knowledge. Those are the sort of schools that have continued to generate controversy, as many perceive their methods to abusive of the pupils.

Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, Dr. Sule Ya'u Sule, Quranic Education, Almajiri schools, Eradication
Toilet are in the College, complte with sanitary equipment

While the populace love and cherish the Makarantun Allo system, its lack of defined methods, its lack of adequate conducive learning environment, its lack of adequate preparation for pupils welfare, and its lack of provision for teachers remuneration combined to give it a bad appearance in the modern day.

Governments across the North have decried the pitiable conditions that pupils of such schools are subjected to, and a number of them have even attempted to clamp down on the schools, giving orders for their closure or dispersal of the pupils. But that has not worked, and the reason for the failure of such clamp-down policies is glaring; they are fire-brigade approaches, and they are not people-oriented.

A well-ventilated area of the college’s hostel

But the former governor of Kano State, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, an educationist to the core, had given a glimpse of how to make Makarantun Allo thrive better when he was Nigeria’s Minister of Education from 2014 to 2019. His blueprint gave rise to the then federal government’s establishment of government-run Makarantun Allo which the subsequent government abandoned.

But Shekarau, always keen on issues concerning education, has taken it upon himself to pioneer a privately established Quranic College in Kano State.

The newly established Gwani Muhammadu Dan Gunduwawa Quranic College, which was commissioned on Thursday, the 9th of February, 2022 at Gunduwawa Village in Gezawa local government area of Kano State, was initiated and solely constructed by Senator Ibrahim Shekarau as a constituency project.

A dining area at the College

The Senator representing Kano Central has again set the pace for others to follow, with the hope that when his initiative becomes widespread, Quranic schools in Northern Nigeria will forever cease to be a thing of ridicule.

Shekarau has indicated that the project was aimed phasing out the Almajiris on the street. It also has the objective of modernising the teaching of the Holy Quran, as students are meant to camped untill the have memorised the whole Quran.

It is a boarding collge, with feeding arrangemet, living area, as well as medical and sporting facilities.

Well planned, adequately equipped with teaching equipment, staffed with trained teachers and organized in an assessable managerial manner. It has a well-selected technical and planning committee that is led by Malam Nour Sani Hanga. The school is one of a type, the first of its kind. A constituency project that was meant to outlive even the progenator.

Members of the technical planning committee of college led by Malam Nour Sani Hanga.

Considering that one of the lacuna in the old Quranic school system has been lack of living areas, and that was why students are seen wandering aimlessly around town most parts of the day, this college has taken care of that. There is a hostel area, with kitchens and toilets. The sanitary system is superb.

Students do not need to go out scavenging for food, as there is a dinning hall where they can converge to take their daily meals.

With this innovation from a man who prides himself first as an educationist, Quranic education has received its first boost and is ready to coast along towards greater heights in Nigeria.

Cited at the village of his maternal grandfather and named after him, this effort of Senator Shekarau has been receiving the accolade of many who see it as a way to salvage a tradition that has been facing the threat of extinction.

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