John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has declared support for overhauling of the almajiri system, noting that the system had been misunderstood countrywide.
ACF, a northern political and cultural association, aligned itself with the position of the federal government in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim yesterday.
The National Security Adviser, Mr. Babagana Monguno had last Thursday disclosed that the federal government would proscribed the system including other groups, which according to him, have become a problem to the society.
In its statement yesterday, the ACF claimed that it had been advocating for the improvement of the Almajiri system of learning amid the western educational system for performance.
The statement said most Nigerians are confusing the real Almajiri system of learning with the children that are out of school, roaming the streets and begging in the name of almajiri.
It said there “is a misrepresentation of the concept in the Islamic doctrine of learning. Almajiri means, going to Islamic schools to learn the reading of the Holy Quran and its teachings for moral economic and social benefit of the child.
“We associate itself with Buhari’s concern on the need for the nation to overhaul the Almajiri system of school that will provide free and compulsory education across the country.”
Specifically, the forum lamented that most Nigerians “are confusing the real Almajiri system of learning with the children that are out of schools roaming the streets and begging in the name of Almajiri.”
He added that this was a misrepresentation of the concept in the Islamic doctrine of learning, noting that Almajiri “means going to Islamic Schools to learn the reading of the Holy Quran and its teachings that will benefit the child morally, economically, socially and also instill the fear of God as the creator.
“The children we see begging in the streets are in the real sense not Almajiris, but children abandoned by their parents. That is why ACF agrees with President Buhari that it is indeed a crime for parents to keep their children out of school in this 21st century under any guise.
”Furthermore, the President’s appeal to States governments to provide free, compulsory and universal basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age could not be more appropriate as it is constitutional responsibility of governments to provide education to the citizens as means of empowerment in a competitive environment.
”ACF, therefore, urges the State governments to heed to President Buhari’s appeal and appropriate funds needed for improved volume and quality of education across the country leading to reduction in inequality among the citizens.”