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UNICEF Trains 100 Sokoto Islamic Teachers On Alternative Care For Almajiri Children

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UNICEF Trains 100 Sokoto Islamic Teachers On Alternative Care For Almajiri Children

BY ANKELI EMMANUEL,Sokoto

The Sokoto State Arabic and Islamic Education Commission with support from United Nations Childrens’ Fund (UNICEF)  and funding from Eleva Foundation of the UK  Thursday flagged off a 4 day training for 100 mallams of Tsangaya schools on child safeguarding and alternative care for almajiri children in the state. 

Addressing participants on, “Understanding Child Protection and The Ideal Almajiri Education, UNICEF Sokoto Office Child Protection Officer, Mr Williams Nwaokorie, says children’s are the primary primary beneficiaries of their works, hence, urging all implementing partners to ensure no harm of any form against them. 

While noting that the 100 malams drawn from 8 local government areas of Sokoto State will be trained to support the endorsement and adoption of alternative care minimum standards for almajiri children out of family care, added that, a framework for monitoring compliance with alternative care will be developed as well. 

Speaking earlier in his welcome address, the Arabic and Islamic Commission’s Secretary, Dr Umar Altine Dandin Mahe said what is been brought is not new but what the religion admonished them to do. 

“Our children in Islamiyya and Almajiri schools should be seen very neat, comfortable and given the needed care to appease to others”, Altine enthused. 

While commending UNICEF for it’s genuine commitment to children welfare worldwide irrespective of religion, race and nation, Umar Altine admonished the clerics to pay attention to every segment of the training and make it interactive as possible for better understanding. 

He also submitted that a law be put in place to prescribe the acceptable age within which parents can take their wards to other places for Islamic education. 

On his part, Sokoto State Executive Chairman of Zakkat and Waqf Commission, Mallam Lawal Maidoki in a goodwill message, said the issue of Almajiri and it’s proliferation should be carefully studied. 

Maidoki who was represented by the Director of Endowment Services of Zakkat Commission, Mallam Jabbi Ibrahim Illela Dabore implore people to differentiate between the large number of children floating the streets and who are almajiri. 

This according to him, was because factors such as insecurity, climate change and numerous other challenges have rendered many homeless hence roaming the streets in search of alms for survival while some might mistaken them to be almajiri while they are not. 

Making his presentation on, 

“Child Safeguarding from the Lenses of Islamic Law” and The Ideal Almajiri Education and Child Safeguarding” a Professor of Islamic Law from University of Maiduguri and UNICEF resource person, Umar Alkali urged Islamic teachers to admit global realities in dealing with children under their care. 

Prof. Alkali who warned that God will ask parents over their responsibilities to their wards, reinstated that, Islam bestowed certain rights on children. 

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According to him, this rights include that of life, education, dignity, health and lineage amongst others. 

The erudite scholar listed , prevention, provision and participation (3Ps) as the core objective of UNICEF child safeguarding policy, which Islamic teachers are encouraged to imbibe. 

He also advised that any ward to be taken out of parents care for Almajiri school not be less than seven years. However, the participating Mallams unanimously suggested and agrees that the ideal year should be ten years. 

Professor Umar Alkali also clarified that the child could be attending schools both western and Islamic from their parents homes even before attainment of the said years. 

Participants at the training were divided into two with 50 from 4 local governments to be trained for 2 days while the remaining 50 trained for another 2 days at Dankeni Guest inn Sokoto. 

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