Presidency yesterday said the ban on Almajiri system of education which is peculiar to some Northern states, remains an objective, but not an immediate one.
Almajiri is a qur’anic learning system which has come to be associated with begging on economic and religious grounds.
A statement by presidential spokesman Garba Shehu called for caution on responses to pronouncements by President Muhammadu Buhari on free and compulsory basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age in Nigeria.
Mr Buhari had Thursday during inauguration of National Economic Council (NEC), said it was a crime for parents not to enroll their children in school.
The presidency noted that while the Buhari administration was committed to free and compulsory education as a long-term objective of bringing to an end, the phenomenon of out-of-school children, any necessary ban on Almajiri system would follow due process and consultation with relevant authorities.
“We don’t want to create panic, or a backlash. Reports that there are plans for massive arrest of parents are definitely out of place. Things have to be done the right and considerate way,” he said.
“In his speech at the inauguration of NEC, Buhari stated, without equivocation, that the country’s children have rights and must be given their due rights and protection under the law. As many have stated in their views, the Almajiri phenomenon represents a security challenge and a scar on the face of Northern Nigeria,” Shehu said.