By Ibrahim Bello
Argungu (Kebbi State) – The Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samai’ila Mera, on Tuesday pledged N2.4 million annually to support the training of students in Almajiri schools to acquire skills.
The Emir made the pledge when officials of Almajiri Support Initiative of Nigeria (ASIN), an NGO operating in Kebbi, paid him a courtesy call at his palace in Argungu.
The monarch said the emirate council would release N200, 000 monthly to the organisation to support it in training the almajiris to acquire life long skills to live decent lives and stop begging for alms on the street.
Mera described the almajiri system of education as medieval and not in tune with current realities.
“This practice is medieval that preceded the colonial era when parents engaged Islamic teachers who traveled outside their settlements to other places that provided conducive atmosphere for teaching and learning.
“In our modern days now, we have the needed Islamic schools in all the local government areas, as such there is no need to send children to beg for them to acquire Islamic education.”
The emir noted that parents were abusing the Islamic provision on marriage by producing children they could not practically cater for.
“The practice also is against prescription of Islam and undermines the true value of proper family upbringing and productivity in Islam.”
Mera called for proper education of Muslims on parental responsibilities as enshrined in Islamic law, and said there was need for volunteers in Muslim communities to take up the challenge.
Earlier, Kebbi Coordinator of the NGO, Alhaji Shehu Umar, informed the emir that they had enrolled over 1,000 Almajiri school students into various vocational training programmes in the state.
He said that the training was on tailoring, welding, auto repairs among others.
Umar thanked the Emir for his support and pledged that the NGO would not relent in its mandate of making the almajiris self reliant.