The purpose of this study was to integrate universal Basic Education programme into the Qur’anic education for children in Niger state. The study was guided by four research questions and four research hypotheses. Survey research design was use to investigate the opinion of Qur’anic education teachers and UBE teacher in Niger State. The population for this study is all the Qur’anic education and UBE teachers in Niger state while simple random sampling was used to select 80 teachers of Islamic Studies and 15 teachers of Basic primary Education Schools. Some literature related to the study was reviewed. The review of literature was basically on documentary sources like unpublished thesis and dissertations, published books, journal articles and internet sources. A structured questionnaire which consists of thirty five (35) items divided into five parts was used to collect data to answer the research questions formulated to guide this study. This instrument was validated by three experts and the Cronbach’s Alpha method was used to establish their internal consistency. Data was arranged and analyzed according to the research questions and the formulated hypotheses. Data collected for research questions were analyzed using means and standard deviation scores, while the Hypotheses were tested with t-test at 0.05 level of significance. Chief among the findings of the study is that the respondents agree on most of the elements of Universal Basic Education to be integrated in to the Qur’anic system of Education for an age group of five years and above. Based on these findings, the researcher concludes that there is need for elements of Universal Basic Education to be integrated in to the Qur’anic system of Education for an age group of five years and above. The major recommendation is that efforts should be made by the government to equip Qur’anic schools with basic facilities like libraries and vocational centre to provide children with basic tools for further educational advancement, including preparation for trades and craft of the locality as proposed in the National Policy on Education. The limitations of the study were also highlighted while suggestions for further studies were made.

Background of the Study
The Qur’anic schools everywhere in the world impact knowledge to people at different levels. However, due to increase in population of human beings on the surface of the planet earth, the population of the Almajiris has also increased tremendously as a result of the search for Islamic knowledge. Qur’anic schools have been in existence in Nigeria even before the advent of western education and in the northern part of the country since the introduction of Islam. The Qur’anic School is the pre-primary and the primary levels of Islamic Education (Jibrin, 2008). It is an institution which has its origin traced to the prophetic period of Islamic education. It was Umar Ibn Khattab who first organized children and young adults in the reading of the Holy Qur’an. The word Almajiri means children who beg around the street; these children are sent to learn in qur’anic schools Almajiri (singular) according to Dukku (2006) is a corrupt Hausa word which originated from the Arabic word Almuhajirun meaning immigrants in search of knowledge like qur’anic teacher and his pupil. However, the qur’anic schools becomes a problem when the search for knowledge is not properly coordinated, planned and organized by the parents and the teachers of the schools due to various short comings. Research has shown that the sub-Saharan African has the highest number of Alimajiris who are either under fed or not properly educated (Jibrin, 2010).

In Nigeria the situation has worsened due to high rate of birth and low income of the parents of this sect or group of Almajiris who beg around the street. Jibrin, (2008) stated that at the beginning of the twentieth century, Lugard (the then colonial ruler) estimated that there were about 20,000 Islamic primary schools in the north, with pupils’ population of about 250,000. As at 1961 after the country got its independence there were about 27,000 of such schools with a total of about 425,000 learners in attendance in the north.

. When the prophet Mohamed (Peace and Blessing of Allah be Upon Him, PBUH) saw this, he was impressed and urged him to continue. From there on, Qur-anic system of education continued to spread all over the world. The teachers of this system of education are called “ULAMMA” or “MALLAM” and were responsible for the spread of Qur’anic knowledge in the Qur’anic schools. Ever since, the methods of teaching, the curriculum content, and its objectives have been the same all over the world (Jibrin, 2008). There was no definite period for the learning, recitation of Qur’an and the teaching of Islamic morals. Teaching and reading could be in the morning, afternoon or night.

Characteristics of the Qur’anic education, according to Jibrin (2010) are that Almajiris learn at their own pace and emphasis is laid more on memorization of the Qur’an. The almajiris are often over crowded in the centre under one Mallam. Also these schools have no clear demarcation of classes or levels, teaching and learning materials are inadequate. The Almajiris look very dirty due to absence of water and sanitary facilities. Jibrin further explains that their curriculum is aimed at exposing learners to read and write the Qur’an in Arabic text and producing professional future Mallams in various fields of Islamic discipline such as in Qur’anic interpretation, hadith, laws, figh and Arabic language among others.

In the traditional Islamic schools, the Almajiris in general are not taught conventional subjects as part of their curriculum. However, introducing some elements of Universal Basic Education into their curriculum could make them fit into the society more, since education is defined as the process of being given intellectual, moral and social instruction to learners.

The Universal Basic Education (UBE) has broadly been defined in the National Policy on Education [FGN 2004] to include early childhood care and education, the nine years of formal schooling, adult literacy and non-formal education, skill acquisition programme and the education of special groups such as nomads and migrants, girl-child and women, Almajiri, street children and the disabled groups. Education under this act is expected to be provided free in addition to the provision of books, instructional materials, classrooms, furniture and lunch. Indeed it is necessary to harmonize the curriculum of UBE and that of qur'anic school as part of the processes involved in the integration of the two schools. Curriculum is defined by Kanno (2011) as document or blue print or an instructional guide used for teaching and learning to bring about positive and desirable changes in the learners’ behaviour. Offorma (2009) viewed curriculum as the education of a school consisting of all the situations that the school may select and consistently organize for the purpose of bringing about changes in the behaviour of the learners and as a means of developing the personality of the individuals. The Qur’an and hadiths have been the core-curriculum of this system of education since its inception. The Qur’an is the first source of Qur’anic system of educational law and all forms of Qur’anic knowledge have their principles laid down in the Qur’an. Consequently the Qur’an has remained the core-curriculum of the Qur’anic schools for the past 1,430 years. Abdullahi (2009) viewed Qur’anic education as non-formal education that originated from the middle –East and designed to spread Islam using Qur’an and hadith as instructional aids.

The integration of UBE and qur'anic schools will perhaps help the Almajiri to have access to basic education and equip them with skills necessary for self employment upon graduation. Meanwhile, integration involves teaching literacy to Qur’anic school learners (almajiris) or having the two forms of education provided hand in hand in the same school. Suleiman (2006) defines integration as a means of diversifying the.....

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