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Yes, government plans to proscribe Almajiri, but not Immediately, says Presidency


Almajiri, Children in school

The Presidency last night declared that the abrogation of the Almajiri system of education (Qur’anic learning system associated with begging on economic and religious grounds peculiar to some northern states) remains an objective of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, but there is no immediate ban of it, as widely reported by the media.

The Presidency said while the administration is committed to free and compulsory education as a long-term objective of bringing the out-of-school children phenomenon to an end, the ban on Almajiri would follow due process and consultation with relevant authorities.

It, therefore, called for caution in responses to the pronouncements by the President on free and compulsory basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age in Nigeria.


Buhari on Thursday, during his speech at the inauguration of the National Economic Council (NEC), charged state governors to rally their council chairmen to ensure that schools in their areas offer the right opportunities and provide the needed materials and teachers for basic education, at the minimum, saying: “If we are able to do this, the benefits will surely manifest themselves.”

The Presidency, in a statement signed by Mallam Garba Shehu, said: “Indeed, the federal government wants a situation where every child of primary school age is in school, rather than begging on the streets during school hours. At the same time, we don’t want to create panic or a backlash.

“Reports that there are plans for massive arrest of parents are definitely out of place. Things have to be done the right and considerate way.

“Free and compulsory primary school education is a requirement of the Nigerian constitution and any individual or group not in compliance with this is violating the law of the land and liable to be punished.”

He said the President’s statement was well within the law of Nigeria, noted that in addition to relevant consultations, state governors need to put in place structures, such as schools and educational materials for pupils, otherwise, they also, are complicit in violating the law of the land.

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