Agaju Madugba, Katsina
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and find a solution to the vagrancy arising from the Almajiri system of Islamic education in northern Nigerian cities.
The Almajiri system is comprised of children and adolescent boys who are pupils of Muslim Qur’anic schools, who are known to roam the streets begging for alms for survival.
According to NANS national president Danielson Akpan, “President Muhammadu Buhari and indeed the northern states’ governments should address the issue of the Almajiri in the North so that they can be captured in the formal school system while still receiving the Islamic education.”
Akpan who spoke at a press conference in Katsina on Sunday lamented what he described as the failed initiative of the former President Goodluck Jonathan administration to tackle the problem.
As he put it, “we are aware that the Jonathan administration built schools across a number of states in the North, designed to integrate Islamic and Western forms of education for the Almajiri but, unfortunately, that effort has since collapsed.”
Akpan explained that the NANS was in Katsina on an assessment tour to review projects executed by the Governor Aminu Bello Masari administration.
“After five days in Katsina and, based on what we have seen on ground, we have no option than to affirm that Masari has done very well in his efforts at transforming the state,” the NANS president said, adding that, “the governor has been able to increase school enrolment thereby gradually closing the gap of out-of school children.”
“During our stay, we visited the three senatorial zones in the state and we saw concrete development in education, healthcare delivery, youth empowerment, roads rehabilitation and so many other projects.
“We also commend the seamless collaboration between the government and the various security agencies in the state in order to manage the armed banditry problem and for the period we have been around, there has not been any reports of attacks anywhere in the state.
“Governor Aminu Bello Masari has been able to manage the little resources at his disposal for transforming Katsina into a model state which other governors from across the country should emulate,” Akpan said.