A university teacher with the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Dr. Ahmad Jibrin Suleiman, has urged Northern states government to transform the Almajiri system in order to avoid the looming danger it poses to society.
In a lecture titled: “Transforming Almajiri System: Is The North Ready? Suleiman, who teaches at the Department of Public Law, however, said abolishing the Almajiri system in Northern Nigeria completely would do more harm than good in the region.
“Terminating the system is not the answer to the problem, because today in Northern Nigeria, there are more idle youths that have no future than before.
“If you meet 10 youths in any street in Northern Nigeria, you will discover that five of them have no future. So the Almajiri system needs to be reformed, but the reformation should not just be based on merely restructuring the methodology. “Northern Nigeria needs to look inwards; a lot of things are happening because the system is a symptom of a larger disease growing in society.”
He argued that religion was now taking an outward appearance, but losing its inward dominance that supported the people in the past, adding that 50 years ago, Northerners were better Muslims taking care of their neighbours compared to today.
Suleiman, who explained that he came from an Almajiri background, said in the past, families used to take pride of the number of Almajiri they take care of, lamenting that today that system has collapsed, asking, “how many families take care of other children in the North apart from their own?
“These are the things that have made the society to collapse, no matter how you think you are reforming the Almajiri system, how do you intend to do it and some people are calling for its termination, but if government terminates it, what are the available options?
“Today we have many parents who do not want their children to acquire western education. But we are saying it is good to reform the Almajiri system and introduce western education to them along the line just like the late Aminu Kano did, which later produced several doctors and professors.”
He advised government to use the Almajiri system to draw stakeholders closer since all things were available within the system insisting that government could introduce by-laws and taxation system like India, Sudan, Turkey, Pakistan did to support education in their country.