Presidency says banning the Almajiri system of education is an objective, but there’s no plan for it now.
Contrary to reports that the Federal Government is set to ban Almajiri group and also arrest parents whose children are not in school, the presidency has said such reports are ‘definitely out of place.’
On Thursday, June 20, 2019, the Federal Government was reported to have proscribed the Almajiri system of education practiced in northern Nigeria.
The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, was said to have made the announcement at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa Abuja on.
However, Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the Muhammadu Buhari in a statement on Friday, June 21, 2019, debunked the reports saying the government doesn’t have an immediate plan to proscribe Almajiri and street urchins.
He said the Almajiri represents a security challenge and a scar on the face of Northern Nigeria, adding that any necessary ban of the system would follow due process & consultation with relevant authorities.
The statements reads in part: The abrogation of the Almajiri (Qur’anic learning system associated with begging on economic & religious grounds peculiar to some Northern states) system of education remains an objective but there is no immediate ban of it by the Buhari Admin., as widely reported by the media.
The Presidency, therefore, calls for caution in responses to the pronouncements by Pres @MBuhari on free & compulsory basic education for every child of primary & junior secondary school age in Nigeria, during his speech on Thursday, June 20, at the inauguration of the NEC.
The Presidency notes that while the Buhari Admin. is committed to free & compulsory education as a long-term objective of bringing to an end, the phenomenon of out-of-school children, any necessary ban on Almajiri would follow due process & consultation with relevant authorities.
Indeed, the Federal government wants a situation where every child of primary school age is in school rather than begging on the streets during school hours. At the same time, we don’t want to create panic or a backlash.
Reports that there are plans for massive arrest of parents are definitely out of place. Things have to be done the right and considerate way.
Free and compulsory primary school education is a requirement of the Nigerian constitution and any individual or group not in compliance with this is violating the law of the land and liable to be punished.
In his speech at the inauguration of NEC, President @MBuhari stated, without equivocation, that the country’s children have rights and must be given their due rights and protection under the law.
As many have stated in their views, the Almajiri phenomenon represents a security challenge and a scar on the face of Northern Nigeria.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, June 20, 2019, was reported to have criminalised the act of keeping children of school.
The president reportedly announced this when he inaugurated the National Economic Council (NEC) for the year 2019–2023 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
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