By Bashir Hassan Abubakar
A Nigerian based NGO, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) has urged stakeholders in Bauchi State to explore ways on how to improve Almajiri education system with a view to giving the Almajiri child a chance in life.
The call was made by the Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani at a multi-stakeholders meeting to proffer solutions to the Almajiri System organised by the NGO in Bauchi.
He said the Almajiri system requires a collective effort of governments at all levels and other key stakeholders to map out holistic approach, driven by sound policy framework, to address the challenges bedevilling the Almajiri system.
He said the traditional and religious institutions have a vital role to play in transforming the system considering that the practice is rooted in cultural and religious affinity.
Rafsanjani, who was represented by Mr Murtala Muhammad, the Manager Health and Human Development of CISLAC said he hope the meeting will proffer solutions to Almajiri system for Bauchi state government to adopt.
In a presentation by a resource person and a Dean, School of Islamic Studies of College of Legal and Islamic Studies Misau Bauchi state, Dr Muhammad Abdulkadir suggested for an entrepreneurship skills to be incorporated into the Almajiri school system in the state.
This according to the Don, is an avenue to prepare Almajiri for life saving skills and an opportunity to work in a rapidly changing economy,
“The Almajiri education system needs to be reoriented to impact a repertoire of life skills entrepreneurship.
“The Almajiri Entrepreneurship development, when adopted, will impart entrepreneurship training and skill acquisition among street urchins’ minds with the purpose of changing their mind sets from begging to self dependence,” he said.
He further proffered that, “Structured entrepreneurial training will equip Almajiri children with the necessary skills and mind set to identify and launch new ventures – while also creating a pool of trained artisans contributing in national development.
The academic also urged government to create enabling environment for private sector partnership to encourage apprenticeship trainings that can be aligned with current and future market needs
“Low-medium skilled labour that includes recycling systems, brick making , tailoring and other sustainable local business are some of the ventures that can be made attractive for the Almajiri boys,” he said
Highlights of the meeting was in a remark made by Honourable Babayo Akuyam, the chairman, house committee on education of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, assuring that the legislature would explore avenues on the possibility of enacting a law to that effect.
In an interview with our correspondent, a participant Ms. Comfort Attah thanked CISLAC for their foresight in organizing the meeting which she described as long over due.
Attah, who also double as the Executive Director of an NGO, Attah Sisters Helping Hands Foundation (ASHH Foundation) said the meeting was timely and that she hoped government would adopt the outcome of the meeting.
“My organization, ASHH Foundation is ready to collaborate with government and other partners in order to bring about positive changes in the lives of the Almajiri children”, said Attah.
Our correspondent reports that the meeting attracted participants from relevant government MDAs, Legislatures, Members of the Academia, Islamic Scholars , Civil Society Organizations and the Media.