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Base de données d'évaluation

Evaluation report

NGR 1999/031: Baseline Survey of Qur'anic Schools in Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States

Executive summary


Several policies have been put in place since 1960s by the Federal Government to ensure that its citizens have been adequately educated. Several policies put in place by all tiers of Government particularly the federal Government which include the introduction of free primary education, adult education and universal primary education (UPE) and the establishment of NPEC and NMEC have not yielded much needed result as National figure on illiteracy rate continue to increase.

Purpose / Objective

This baseline survey sought to obtain a descriptive profile of the Quranic schools, the children, the proprietors/and teachers. This broad objective is further broken down into:
- To identify factors that predispose Quranic school children to not attend primary school
- To find out what facilities are available for Quranic education of children
- To determine the number of Quranic school children enrolled and to find out:
Number attending primary school
Number not attending primary school
Average age
Number residing with parents/guardian
Number from other towns/villages
- To find out number of Quranic school children who wish to attend primary school
- To discover what can be done to provide access and retention in Basic Education for the Quranic school children within the profile of the Quranic school system


This survey covers all the Quranic schools in the four focus states in the North-West zone of UNICEF Nigeria. Interviews were conducted with Quranic school children, proprietors, sponsors and teachers. Three different questionnaires were also given to these different groups.

Key Findings and Conclusions

There are 16,648 Quranic schools with 1,145,111 pupils. Only 184,592 or 16.1% are attending primary school, out of which 38.1% are female. Sokoto State has 50% of the total Quranic school pupil enrolment among the focus states and also happens to be the state with the least number of Quranic pupils attending primary school. When interviewed, students were very willing to go to primary school if given the opportunity to do so. Economic rather than socio-cultural factors have been identified as the major factor against child enrolment and retention in primary schools.

The mode of operation at the Quranic schools is non formal and revolves around the individual operator. The proprietor dictates the policy and syllabus of their schools. Progress of pupils depends on individual ability; they are allowed to progress at their own pace without hindrance. The pupils are first taught the Arabic letters and how to recite the Quran. They then study Islamic jurisprudence and other facets of Islamic education.

Most of the schools were found to be operating in open spaces under trees. Very few operate in a mosque. In almost all centers (94%), pupils sit on mats or the bare floor. Only few copies of the Quran are supplied through charity. 95% of the schools lack pit latrines and use the bush.

There are a total of 4,008 dormitories. Most are overcrowded, built of mud with poor ventilation. The pupils sleep on mats. None of these dormitories have toilet facilities or a dust bin. The conditions are quite deplorable.

There are a total of 31,375 teachers (mallams) comprising of 30,320 males and 1,055 females. The average teacher pupil ratio is about 1:37. Over 92% of the teachers have basic literacy as their qualification i.e. can only read and memorize the Quran and Hadith. 6.7% possess Grade II/HIS and only about 1.0% possess higher qualification of NCE or degree.

At free periods or in between sessions, the teachers engage in farming or some handwork as means of self-sustenance. The pupils who are residents in the area assist with household chores. Almost all the pupils sent to mallams from neighbouring villages are those engaged in begging or in menial jobs at places not fit for children. They resort to doing these because their parents do not provide for them. They rely on the mallams, who do not earn any salary to take care of their wards.


There should be a state policy deliberately and directly addressing the problems of Quranic schools in terms of integrating elements of basic education, funding and management. Adequate learning materials and equipment should be provided for both the Quranic literacy as well as for basic education program. The teachers of all Quranic schools should be trained in the principles and methods of teaching, and given subsequent teaching development opportunities. School amenities to improve the sanitary condition of the Quranic schools should be provided.

There should be a further survey, which should be a full-fledged census of the existing Quranic schools in all states.

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Education - Other



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