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REWIND: THE DAWN OF ALMAJIRANCI AND IT’S DECAY

Almajiri, unlike how people percive it as a begger or a destitute, is derived from the Arabic words “Al-muharijun”, meaning a person who leaves his home to go out in search of knowledge. Almajiranci in whole, is a system of Islamic knowledge practice in the Northern part of Nigeria. This system is practice whereby the parents of a child takes their child to a place far from home to go and aquire Islamic knowledge and learn the scriptures of the holy Qur’an.
The system of ALMAJIRANCI started in Nigeria in a town called Kanem-borno, almost seven hundred years ago where it rulers where widely involved in Qur’anic literacy, the Sokoto Caliphate which was a revolution founded base on Islamic teachings of the Qur’an. Sokoto and Borno Caliphate started running the Almajiranci system. During this period, which was the precolonial era, children use to stay with their parent for proper moral upbringing. All the schools available then were in a close proximity with immediate environment for The students. Inspectors where appointed to go round and inspect the schools and report matters concerning all affairs regarding the schools to the Emirs of each province.The school was funded by community, Zakkah, Sadaqa or sometimes through the farm output of the students.

AlmajiraI at School learning how to recite and write Qur’an

However, during the colonial period, the British conquered the North. Most Emirs where killed,some were deposed.The invasion come with a new system of education ‘Boko’ which is the western education introduce by the British which resulted in abolishing the fundamental state funding of the Almajiranci system of education, the system collapsed with no support from the communities, Emirs or the Government leaving the teachers and the students with no financial support which resulted them into alms begging and manial jobs for survival. In the Present day, According to the National Council of the welfare of destitute (NCMD) there are approximately 9 million Almajiris in the country. In the North east alone, Borno state to be precise,were the system originated, there about 2,711,767 almajiris according to UNICEF, making about 25% of the population there, Yet, the system lacks good teachers and basic amenities like clothing and shelter.

AlmajiraI between the age of 5-7 sharing food on the street

Moreover, the major challenges of the Almajiri system include illiterate teachers who are teaching the students, lack of proper basic facilities for learning, lack of planned curriculum and poor and unprofessional handling of pupils for effective learning. Many of the students in these jobs do not graduate or learn anything rather they end up doing menial job for survival or pose to be great threats to the society whereby some of them tends to join dangerous groups such as: Terrorism, Arm-robbery, kidnapping, Arm-Bandits etc. This happens due to ignorance and lack of fundamental basic care from both the parents, communities and the Government at Large.

 

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