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Sultan: Street Begging, Almajiri Not Islamic

The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has called for the use of Islamic and western education to end Almajiris syndrome in the North.

He spoke at the weekend at the closing of a two-day workshop for the modernisation of the Almajiri- Nizamiyya Education system in Sokoto State.

Abubakar said the sultanate council and others must unite for the success of the initiative aimed at ending street begging in the state and northern Nigeria.

The monarch recalled that he and many others were products of the traditional Almajiri system but nothing linked their quest for Arabic and Islamic knowledge with begging.

“Parents must be sensitised against allowing their children to resort to begging. We were not encouraged to beg in any guise but to strictly seek knowledge,” he said.

Abubakar said all hands must be on deck to deepen awareness and sustain the call against the begging culture.

Appreciating the efforts of the Federal Government towards ensuring an egalitarian society, the royal father called on the government to put more effort towards sustaining adequate funding of education of Nigerians through supporting efforts of state governments and relevant agencies.

“Make funds available to states committed to the project initiative with vigour. Nothing works without funds. We are efficiently driving the objectives to curtail or mitigate the negative trend and consequences associated with the socio-moral ills on the society as protection for the future of young ones. It is our duty to close ranks and salvage as well as protect lives for the continued meaningful existence and survival of humanity by providing the necessary instruments of development educationally,” he said.

Governor Aminu Tambuwal described the workshop as an indication of a success-driven project. He said his administration was committed to educational standard, excellence as well as development.

“Our resilience for the initiative is not just to adopt it but ensure a sustained and workable plan for acceptable solutions that would last the expectations of the drivers. I wish to appreciate the UNICEF intervention programme in the state education sub-sector, especially towards actualising the model and for this reason. The state government will come up with a standing committee under the leadership of Malam Lawal Maidoki for the realisation of the desired success of the programme transformation process,” Tambuwal said.

The Executive Secretary, Sokoto State Arabic and Islamic Education Board, Dr. Umar Aliyu Dandin Mahe, said the drive was in tune with the Indonesian Pondok system adaptable to deepen the Almajiri-Nizamiyya model.

He disclosed that the system had been in practice in the state for a year and a half.

“We have noted that the system Indonesia is either owned by individuals or community regulated and assisted by the Federal Ministry of Religious Affairs through its departments in the states. To his end, we embarked on rigorous advocacy and mobilisation for support from the government, well-meaning individuals and organisations. We also push further to organise capacity building programmes for proprietors of Qur’anic schools with successes at Bangi, Awulkiti, Karfen Chana and

Karfen Sarki all in Gudu local government areas where the system’s four components had been incorporated with the support of old Almajiri students,” he said.

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