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Nigeria: Almajiri is part of our culture, says President Jonathan

President Jonathan’s comment on Facebook
Nnamdi Ndibe asked a question on what the Federal Government plans to do about the “Almajiri” issue in the North of Nigeria.
One thing we need to realize is that while it may appear to those unfamiliar with the Almajirinci system that these children are destitute beggars, the reality is that they are children entrusted to the care of Islamic scholars for instruction in Islamic education.
The challenge before us is to ensure that the children are taught under humane conditions and there is no abuse within the system.
It is the duty of the Federal Government to work with State and Local Governments where this system of education is practiced to find ways of improving the practice without disrupting this centuries old way of life.
Since it is already the constitutional duty of governments to provide access to education which is done generally via formally organized school models, it is my belief that this constitutional duty extends to providing similar assistance to other education models. Providing class rooms and culturally attuned teaching aids to Islamic schools that practice the Almajirinci system is not out of place.
Where feeding assistance does not exist, we should explore the possibility of encouraging support in this regard so that these young scholars are not left in the cruel hands of hunger.
Finally we the parents have to be encouraged to play the important role of monitoring our children giving to the care of these teachers so that they get that parental affection that supports the continous generation of happiness.
You may also recall that on July 21 I informed you on these pages about a Task Force on education which is to IMPLEMENT (not talk about) a one year action plan of intervention in the education sector.
I believe the Task Force will be all inclusive in its intervention in our education sector. I am committed to bringing about a better Nigeria regardless of the situation.