PLANS are underway by the Sokoto State government to replace the Almajiri system with the Indonesian Pondok education model.
The development was made known at the weekend by Governor of Aminu Tambuwal following a visit to by the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, AVM Usra Hendra Harahap.
The Pondok model employs mosques and langgar (a blend of Islamic and Western education) as well as existing local institutions such as surau (Islamic assembly buildings) and pesantren (a Muslim school in Indonesia operated by religious leaders) as the places for Muslims to study Islam.
Tambuwal, however, said the state would consult the Sultan of Sokoto and other stakeholders before developing a home grown version of the Pondok model.
He said further that the government was not in a hurry to ban the Almajiri system which he noted was done by some states without providing an alternative.
He said the Pondok model system once adopted “can serve as an alternative to the Almajiri system.”
“We are intensifying efforts to ensure that the Pondok model system 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 added.
While expressing gratitude to the Indonesian government for taking interest in Sokoto, he assured the Ambassador that his visit would deepen Indonesia’s relationship not only with the state but also the country, with which it shares religious, cultural and climatic similarities.
In his remarks, Ambassador Harahap explained that his visit to the state was to further strengthen the bilateral tie between his country, Nigeria and the state.
“Let me say that my presence in Sokoto 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,” he said.
Giving reasons it is feasible for the state to have a good relationship with his country, Harahap said his country will “be glad to share its best practices and most advanced scientific knowledge” with the state “to boost animal production.”