Almajiri, formally called Tsangaya, is the traditional Islamic education system that emerged in the pre-colonial Kanem-Bornu Empire. Almajiri was inspired by Prophet Muhammad’s migration from Mecca to Medina and is derived from the Arabic word al-Muhajirun, which means a person who leaves his home in search of Islamic knowledge.
Young boys leave their homes to be taught by an Alarama (teacher) for up to six years, starting with understanding the basic Arabic alphabet to memorising the Qur’an. The schools were established as an organised system to learn the Qur’an and Islamic jurisprudence, a replica of Islamic learning centres in Muslim countries.
Recently, the Borno State government formed a strategic committee to reform and upgrade the quality of the Almajiri system of education. This has concerned some people who think it is an effort to undermine Tsangaya/Islamic study in the region.
Our guests are:
1) Professor Abdu-Kareem Ishaq, the chairman of the public hearing reform committee
2) Dr Muhammad Yahuza Abdullahi Mohammed from University of Maiduguri.