The presidency has revealed that there is a plan to ban the ‘Almajiri Quranic education system in Northern Nigeria by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr. Garba Shehu, an aide to President Buhari, made the revelation on Friday.
Shehu noted that although there is a plan to stop it (Almajiri), but not immediately.
“The abrogation of the Almajiri (Qur’anic learning system associated with begging on economic and religious grounds peculiar to some Northern states) system of education remains an objective but there is no immediate ban of it by the Buhari Administration, as widely reported by the media,” the presidential aide said.
Out of the over 13million out of school children in Nigeria, 8million is in the north alone.
Huge percentage of this 8million out of school children as are kids sent out by their parents to a mallam to study the Quran.
The kids ends up begging on the streets for food and water to survive while learning the Quran.
A report went viral on the media (not on Naija Buzz) that President Buhari was planning to ban the Almajiri Quranic education.
Shehu however noted that although Buhari wants a situation where every child of primary school age is in school rather than begging on the streets, there is no immediate ban on Almajiri as widely reported by the media.
Read his full statement below;
The abrogation of the Almajiri (Qur’anic learning system associated with begging on economic and religious grounds peculiar to some Northern states) system of education remains an objective but there is no immediate ban of it by the Buhari Administration, as widely reported by the media.
The Presidency, therefore, calls for caution in responses to the pronouncements by President Muhammadu Buhari on free and compulsory basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age in Nigeria, during his speech on Thursday, June 20, at the inauguration of the National Economic Council (NEC).
The Presidency notes that while the Buhari administration is committed to free and 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 and 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 Buhari 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.
In that speech, the President said:
“On education, I want to stress in particular the need to take very seriously and enforce very rigorously the statutory provisions on free and compulsory basic education. Section 18(3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended places on all of us here an obligation to eradicate illiteracy and provide free and compulsory education.
“Section 2 of the Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act provides that every Government in Nigeria shall provide free, compulsory and universal basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age.
‘‘It is indeed a crime for any parent to keep his child out of school for this period. In my view, when a government fails to provide the schools, teachers and teaching materials necessary for basic education, it is actually aiding and abetting that crime.
“This is, therefore, a call to action. I would like to see every Governor rise from this meeting and rally his local Government Chairmen towards ensuring that our schools offer the right opportunities and provide the needed materials and teachers for basic education, at the minimum.
‘‘If we are able to do this, the benefits will surely manifest themselves.”
Ogbodo ThankGod is currently the Managing Director/CEO/Group Chief Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He was the Chief Editor at NaijaBuzz.News before his new top leadership role. Ogbodo has years of experience in the Nigeria Media Industry and has co-founded some media companies. He is the founder of Ogbodo Solution Nigeria and 1Push.Ng. He loves playing football and is a strong supporter of Lionel Messi who he describes as the greatest footballer of all time.