Drawing on interviews with key informants from the State government in Kano, Nigeria, this study examines the aim and content of attempts to reform various types of Muslim primary and secondary education, by encouraging the adoption of curricula containing both secular and religious subjects and providing other types of support. Comparison of the Kano State situation with South Asian countries enables us to identify the attributes of states and religious elites that make states seek to increase their control over religious authority.
The findings push the boundaries of existing debates to show that states' relationships with religious leaders and schools are interactive and responsive, countering the current tendency to explain reform attempts solely in terms of the modernizing ambitions of post-colonial governments.
Working Paper No. 29, Religions and Development Research Programme, University of Birmingham, UK, 46 pp. ISBN 0-7044-2769-9