One of Nigeria’s Northern Emirs, the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, has advised states in Northern Nigeria to use Mosques to offering primary education instead of constructing more classrooms in the midst of scarce resources.
According to him, since there are many Mosques in the region and across local government’s areas, they could function as primary schools during the day time while in between afternoon and evening obligatory prayers can be observed.
Sanusi who spoke during the combined graduation of 2,000 in-service teachers under the Kano state Teacher Upgrade Training Programme, maintained that the idea was feasible and cost-saving.
A statement by the Director General, media and Communications, Government house, Kano, Salihu Tanko Yakasai, quoted the Emir to have said: “By so doing, we can limit the amount we spend on school infrastructure and devote the funds to training of teachers, which is among the critical factors that lead to positive leaning outcomes.”
As proof that the idea will work, he stated that during a visit to Fez, a city in Morocco some time ago, he visited a mosque which, besides its traditional function as a place of worship, was also conveniently serving as a university with a structured course outlines and lecturers.
The Emir noted that the separation of mosques from teaching of formal education contributed significantly to the notion among misguided people, that Islam is against western education. He, however, expressed happiness that for the first time, the government of Kano state has understood that, the problem of education is not principally about infrastructure and teaching materials, but placed emphasis on teacher capacity building for better leaning outcomes.
While making his remarks, the Kano state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje told the gathering that Kano has over 3 million pupils in public primary schools, with over 52,000 teachers and 6,000 public basic education schools, but confronted with multiple challenges, including that of infrastructure.
Ganduje noted that, despite the current economic hardships, there are still ongoing construction of new schools, more school renovations, procurement and provision of essential teaching and learning materials.
“We are surely obliged to continue to demonstrate our commitment to the development of education in the state.
“By the end of year 2017, all unqualified basic education teachers in Kano State will become professional teachers through Teacher Upgrade Program and other in-service Training opportunities,” he stressed.