By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
Sokoto state governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal at the weekend said the state government is planning to adopt the Indonesian Pondok model of education to replace the current Almajiri system.
The adoption of the Indonesian Pondok Pesantren Madrasah model system of education by the state government is deemed as the best alternative to the existing Almajiri system being observed in the state.
The development was made known at the weekend by Governor Tambuwal following a courtesy visit to him by the Indonesian ambassador to Nigeria, AVM Usra Hendra Harahap .
However, the Pondok model system employs mosques and langgar (a blend of Islamic and Western education) as well as adopt 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 explained that for the state government to have a home grown system similar to the Pondok model, it will consult the Sultan of Sokoto and other stakeholders in order for them to have a buy-in.
The governor further stated that the state government was not in a hurry to ban the Almajiri system which he noted was carried out by some states without providing an alternative.
He expressed confidence that 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 emphasized.
While expressing gratitude to the Indonesian government for taking interest in Sokoto, he assured the Ambassador that his visit will deepen Indonesia’s relationship not only with the state but also the country, with which it shares religious, cultural and climatic similarities.
He said that the state was already pursuing further ties with Indonesia in the areas of healthcare, economy, Islamic models of business and economic enterprises.
Accordingly, the governor applauded the Indonesian government for agreeing to send experts to share knowledge with the state on economic inclusion derivatives.
In his remarks earlier, Ambassador Harahap, explained that his visit to the state was to further cement 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.”
Giving reasons why 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.”