Dr. Ahmad Jibril-Suleiman of Department of Public Law, Ahmadu Bello Univesity, Zaria, on Thursday says the collapse of the Almajiri system of education is a symptom of a bigger disease affecting the fabric of the society, which must be addressed holistically.
He said the Almajiri system should be used to woo hesitant parents to allow their children to study the Qur’an side-by-side western education.
Jibril-Suleiman made the disclosure in an interview with journalists on the sideline of a public lecture organised by Doguwa Local Government Students’ Association held at ABU main campus, Samaru, Zaria.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that his paper was titled: “Transforming Almajiri System: Is the North ready?”
Jibril-Suleiman stressed there was need for collective efforts of all stakeholders to not only address the problem of the Almajiri system, but also the collapse of moral values and others norms that communities responsible to each other.
“The summary of my presentation is that the Almajiri system is more than it appears to the eyes, there is the need to think deeply upon these problems.
“We have not been thinking over problems we have in the society, and any society that fails to think for itself will end up being a pawn on the chessboard of other societies that think for themselves,” he said.
The don recalled that previously in Northern Nigeria, every family took pride in the number of Almajiris it trained and took responsibility of, unlike today.
“These are the things that have made the society to collapse. No matter how we think we are reforming the Almajiri system, we have to take so many things into consideration,” he said.
Jibril-Suleiman said the Almajiri system should be used to woo hesitant parents to allow their children to study the Qur’an side-by-side western education.
He said that the more people were educated the better for the society.
Jibril-Suleiman said that the problems associated with the almajiri system was significantly a pointer of how the hitherto close knit society was crumbling.
According to him, the society has lost its useful and important norms, values and tradition of correcting children whenever they are wrong.
“Just as I pointed out in my paper, some of you who are 50 years and above knew that formerly when we were children, everybody in the society takes care of errant children, does that happen now? It doesn’t.
“What this means is that the Almajiri that finds himself around now, wanders without any moral upbringing except when his teacher happens to be closer to him which is dangerous.
“And that is why we have negative developments; some of them are being recruited into terrorist activities and other criminalities.
“The Almajiri system needs to be reformed, but the reformation should not just come from restructuring the system; the Northern society needs to also look at itself,” Jibril-Suleiman said.