by Comrade Abubakar Ismail kankara
The historical educational system popularly known as “Makarantar Alo” and the students which has been categories and named as “Almajirai” has a synonymous background and an analog formation status, which has installed a compounded belief that sees the system as the only doctrine of acquiring knowledge.
Meanwhile the intricacy of modern education system seems to be more fundamental and essential than that of the old days, despite the fact that the “Makarantar Alo” has become more of cultural orientation and extremely important in the rural Communities.
The system largely became so dilapidated over the years due to negligence and lack of adaption of modern techniques by the beneficiaries particularly the Shehu’s and Mallams. Also, the government’s focus on western education only, without seeing any further future in the “Almajiri” or so called “yaro boys” future.
As a matter of fact, I feel curious and uncomfortable about the suffering of minors and innocent youths in the era of digitalization and maintaining a physical dignity of personality. Yes I called them minors because 75% of the Almajirai were brought to the school “Makarantar Alo” at there early age between the ages of 8 to 12 and depend fully on labor for food and or begging to survive.
The phenomenon of child labor or begging to survive triggers so many disputes and religious sect with different ideologies which may seems to be more of threat to the society and the nation in general.
Because we have become so reluctant in fixing our internal problems, by advocating for a free meal to the Almajirai without begging and also introducing entrepreneur skills to avoid unnecessary child labor.
I remembered years back when the Federal Government introduced modern Almajiri school in northern part of Nigeria, which was settled to eradicate begging, open rooms of opportunity for the students to attain both the Islamic and Western education with good welfare and entrepreneurs skills conveniently.
But surprisingly, the system became oil shell and open market to our leaders of those days as everything was not in order and the whole money provision for that was fully looted.
Also recently in kaduna state, the state government introduced a program of school feeding, where each student was estimated to consume not less than #100 per meal and at the same time the government proposed to ban street begging which will fully affect the Almajirai without any consideration.
But my question here is, are they non Nigerians?
Because if the state government can feed a school child, then it’s her duty and responsibility to feed the Almajirai in order to secure their right as well, before they can openly ban them from begging.
Therefore what we are agitating for is to re-introduce the Almajiri modern school as introduced by the past administration in other to influence a life of the neglected needy so as to become people of higher profile in life.
Lastly, as we can not make the error of harming our vision of securing the life of the Almajirai by giving them hope and courage, I urge each and every Nigerian to participate in helping to feed them in their schools and also advocate for their western education and entrepreneurial skills.
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