From Mohammed Salisu in Sokoto
A Member of the House of Representatives, representing Bodinga/Dange- Shuni/Tureta Federal Constituency ( PDP-Sokoto), Dr Balarabe Shehu Kakale, says the House has exclusively dedicated Thursday, March 12, 2020, for a holistic debate on the Almajiri System in the country .
Dr Kakale said that , the bold move was part of the relentless commitment of the leadership of the House of Representatives and the entire members, in the bid to reform the system .
This , he said, is to dispassionately reform the system to make it better , as well as realign it to be in tune with globally-accepted standards in the context of our religion, traditions, culture and socio-economic realities .
Dr Kakale said in a statement he issued at the weekend in Abuja , ” the day has been set aside for debate only on the Almajiri phenomenon on the floor of the Chamber, setting aside all other Legislative businesses.
“‘This is a huge step forward on the side of the Nigerian Legislators headed by the Rt Hon Speaker H.E Femi Gbajabimiala, (Sadaukin Yauri), and the Deputy Speaker, RT Hon. Ahmad Wase, to tackle the challenges of the Almajiri child.
” I shall be focusing my debate/contributions for solutions on the following themes which include the six types Almajiri like the Historical almajiri, Ideological almajiri, Migrant almajiri, Boarding almajiri, Socioeconomic almajiri and the Innocent Almajiri child, aged between 3-15 years ,” he added.
Dr Kakale further disclosed his proposed areas of contributions at the forthcoming debate to include the Statistics/Data of the almajiri, the Mother of the almajiri child, Push and Pull factors for the almajiri system, legislation, banning/Proscription and enforcement.
The rest of the areas of his focus, he averred are the improved schools/environment, water and sanitation, core curriculum of Quranic study,
review and an enhanced curriculum, to prepare the Qur’anic student for the 21st century, vocational training, technical training, entrepreneurship, as well as the National Almajiri Summit .
At the Summit, all stakejolders in MDAS, Institutions, Communities, CSOS and Partners, among others , that have roles in human capital development , education , health , child and human rights , youths , women, social investments, entrepreneurship, will come up with a Working National Policy on Almajiri Education.
He added,” but mind you, Summits and Seminars are not enough , but focused local community engagements, community meetings and participation are key for its success.”
Expatiating further on the Mother of the Almajiri child, Dr Kakale lamented that , she was mostly forgotten in the equation of pain and horror of the separation of a child from his loving mother.
The MP added, ” most times the mothers are suppressed, dominated, never or hardly involved in the decision making of sending the child into Almajirci.
“Selective/biased enlisting of children of the wife/wives less favoured or cared for into Almajirci, Psychological torture of women by some husbands.
” Most of these mothers suffer severe depression bordering on psychosis when their children are sent off to Almajirci for years, while the favourite wife, mostly keep her children.”
According to Dr Kakale, researches have showed nine five per cent (95%) of mothers vehemently disagree with the fathers/Husbands on sending their children into boarding Almajiri and destitution.
He further decried ,” But their cries are almost always to naught.Let me also profoundly thank the Gov of Sokoto state, Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Saad Muhammad Abubakar and the Emir of Kano, Alh Muhammadu Sanusi, for their continued and untiring efforts to reform the Almajiri system for the better.
“We are also working with and graciously thank the Future Assured Program of H.E Aisha Buhari, MTDI, MMAWT, LAHIYA SAK, 21stCEHUB, SokotoReloaded, ACRI,Clothes4Almajiri, ASRI,CEDA,HCOMDI, YALI Network and CSACEFA, amongst others.
” The Quranic education is noble, compulsory and 100 per cent supported and must be improved and digitalised.
” But no to irresponsible parenting, begging, inhuman boarding, migration and destitution of innocent children in the name of Almajirci.”
Dr Kakale further said that, an online poll they are currently conducting have shown an overwhelming support to reform the system and ban child begging , especially destitution, while adding vocational skill, numeracy and Arabic,English, Chinese lietracy.
Dr Kakale added, “This is the link to the online survey for people to contribute…https://www.
Summing up, Dr Kakale stated that , the entire leadership and membership of the House of Representatives, as well as all the critical stakeholders will on the epoch making day collectively brainstorm on the ways to reform the all-important Almajiri System.
Dr Kakale also maintained that , the day would provide a great opportunity for the National Assembly, in its generality , as well as the major stakeholders to get to the roots of the system with view of reforming it for the better .
He strongly suggested the emulation of the Indonesian Pondok Madrassa Education System, adding, ” it is a well thought out Model for the Almajiri Education reforms in Nigeria.”