Almajiri: Sokoto Mulls Adoption of Indonesian Pondok Model


Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto

Sokoto State Government yesterday said it may adopt the Indonesian Pondok Pesantren Madrasah model system of education as an alternative to the existing Almajiri system in the state.

Governor Aminu Tambuwal stated this when he received the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, AVM Usra Hendra Harahap, during the latter’s courtesy visit to the Government House in Sokoto.

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 would consult Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar, and other stakeholders in order for them to have a buy-in.

Tambuwal, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Muhammad Bello, said his administration was not in a hurry to ban the Almajiri system as some states had done 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 explained.

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 she shares religious, cultural and climatic similarities.

The governor said the state was already pursuing further ties with Indonesia in the areas of healthcare, economy, Islamic models of business and economic enterprises.

Tambuwal applauded the Indonesian government for agreeing to send

experts to share knowledge with the state on economic inclusion derivatives.

Earlier, Harahap had explained that his visit to the state “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’s feasible for the state to have a good relationship with his country, Harahap said his country would “be glad to share its best practices and most advanced scientific knowledge” with the state “to boost animal production.”