Niger state governor Dr. Babangida Aliyu has dismissed the senate president David Mark’s call for the banning of the Almajiri system of education, as he opined that the solution to the system is not the banning “because you don’t ban a culture without having a replacement.”
Speaking when the Senate Committee on Education paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Minna, Monday, the governor said many vital issues like their religion, culture and settlement have to be taken into consideration before thinking of banning the system.
“It is not just something you just wake up and say ban. It is the same thing like the Normadic schools introduced by the federal government some years ago and because we did not pay attention to their culture and religion, major problems started coming up and this is why the programme is not succeeding,” he noted.
“If we can have a way where the federal, state and local governments can come to the aid of these people by absolving them and their teachers into normal school system so that people will not think we want to kill their religion by banning what they consider their culture and that is why we have to think deeply about that.”
Aliyu also kicked against the building of Almajiri schools pointing out that this will not solve the problem because it will look to them as if they are being stigmatized.
“I agree that there is the need to do something about the Almajiri system but I feel that with the way we are doing it now by just building Almajiri schools, it will not solve the problem. They must be treated as citizens and not to make it look like a stigma and we have to sit down and look at these and it is not the question of banning but a question of what do we do to make sure they are all absorbed into the formal school system,” the governor remarked.
Governor Aliyu also took a swipe at the nation’s school curriculum and called for its immediate review.
According to him, “certificate does not make a man; certificate does not do the work but it is the person who does the work and this is why we need to pay less attention on certificate which many students are now desperate to acquire but rather pay attention on what they can produce.”