By HOSEA NYAMLONG
MOVEMENT for the Rights of Almajir Child (MORAC), held its first Muslim Umma, stakeholders discourse/Town hall meeting in Jos, Central Mosque on Sunday.
The theme for the occasion was “Alternative Pathways for the Almajiri –A collective responsibility.”
However, the programme was designed to enable practitioners and custodians of Almajiri system, collectively speak out for the way forward in reforming the practice to eradicate the menace of Almajiri in our society.
In a keynote address by the convener, Mr. Salis Abdulsalam, stated that “the movement was formed to serve as a platform to push for the formulation of legislative bill, to serve as a voice for the Almajiri effective policy implementation, aimed at positively transforming the Almajiri practice in Nigeria”.
Our correspondent gathered that, the movement has different professionals from the humanitarian workers educationists, Islamic scholars, civil societies, and community elders as members to support this noble task.
At the town hall meeting, the discussants at the occasion, spoke in support for the actualization of the Almajiri child rights bill, as our collective responsibility in order to put an end to the Almajiri menace in Nigeria.
According to Mallam Nazifi Yunus, Director of Al-bayan school in Jos, said “that the Almajiri menace is becoming alarming in our society, that an urgent step need to be taken immediately to address the situation.
In his statement with the press, he called on parents to take up the responsibility of training their children by providing them with the basic needs and moral discipline.
He also advised, the Almajiri teachers (Mallams) should be qualified before teaching the children on the tenets of Islam and called on the Federal Government to support the movement of the Almajiri system of education by paying the teacher’s salary, to serve as a boost to the system.
In the same vein, Mallam Ibrahim Hassan, also attributed that, the Almajiri system that was known in the past was centred purely on Islamic teachings. But now, it turned out to be a money making venture.
He affirmed that, some of the Almajiri teachers, do assign the boys to go for begging for money in the streets, instead of teaching them the Quranic doctrines. The almajiri would have no option than to go, because at the end of the day, he is expected to remit some monies to the Mallam.
Similarly, he advocates for the Muslim women rights, in protecting their children’s rights, to avoid taking their children to unknown destinations, in the name of Almajiri without their consent.
The Nigerian Standard newspaper also gathered that, the Almajiri system is not embedded in the tenet of Islam, rather is a kind of myth, cultural practice predominantly from the northern parts of the country.
The Executive Assistant to the Plateau State Governor on Social Investment. Dr. Sumaiya Hamza, told journalists that the Almajiri child right is a collective responsibility that should be embraced by all in our society.
She called on parents, guidance, spiritual leaders, traditional leaders and caregivers to be part of this movement for the Almajiri child right.
In an interview with Abdulsalam, he maintained that, the Almajiri child is also a displaced person in the society, that has no love, care, affection from anybody. They are only left at the mercy of the harsh condition of the society.
In his assertion, the Almajiri is the most vulnerable set of people in our society today that would be use by the bad eggs as tools for violence.
He attributes the Almajiri as a modern day slavery that need to be stopped from all and sundry.