The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), apex northern socio-political organisation, has declared support for the moves by the federal government to overhaul the Almajiri system.
On Thursday, Babagana Monguno, national security adviser, said the federal government is considering proscribing the Almajiri system of education in order to tackle insecurity and ensure that no child is deprived of basic education.
Monguno said Almajiris were becoming a huge problem to the society, adding that many of them end up becoming “criminals, drug addicts and willing tools in the hands of those who have very dangerous intentions”.
In a statement on Saturday, Mohammed Ibrahim, ACF’s spokesperson, said the forum is in support of the federal government’s standpoint on Almajiri.
He said people have misplaced the real “Islamic doctrine of learning” for out-of-school children roaming the streets and begging for alms in the name of Almajiri.
“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,” he said.
“We associate ourselves 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.
“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.”