By Our Reporter
In a bid to curb street begging across the state, Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has directed Tsangaya Islamic teachers to submit modalities on how government can intervene with a view to reducing the prevalence of street begging.
The Governor gave the directive while hosting a delegation from the state chapter of the Qur’anic Teachers Association of Nigeria who paid him a courtesy call on Monday.
While noting that no responsible Muslim will seek for the abolishing of the Tsangaya school system, the Governor however said there is need to intervene in order to curb street begging mostly associated with Almajirai.
To this end, Engineer Sule directed the association to submit a proposal on how government can intervene to reduce the prevalence of street begging across the state.
He disclosed that during a recent meeting of the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) in Kaduna, it was resolved that Governors should intervene with a view to addressing the issue of street begging by children from the Tsangaya school system across the Northern states.
He disclosed further that aside of the Almajiri school in Shabu, his administration is willing to build similar school in the state with a view to integrating the Almajiri into the formal school system.
Engineer Sule decried the situation where some parents fail to take care of their children, only to dump them at the Tsangaya school without any means of livelihood, thereby forcing the children into street begging.
He lamented that pupils under the Tsangaya school system spend most of their time begging on the streets instead of spending time learning the Qur’an.
“We all agreed in the NGF meeting that it’s not the learning of the Qur’an that is an issue. It’s our believe that once one acquires the knowledge of the Qur’an properly, such a person will be a useful citizen.
“The real issue is that of street begging which exposes children to hazards,” he stated.
The Governor described the Tsangaya school system as beneficial to the society since it provides an avenue for Muslims to learn the Qur’an but that everything should be done to curb street begging.
He added that the Federal Government under the Universal Basic Education Board and some international donor agencies, have set aside funds to be channelled towards rehabilitating and integrating the Almajiri into the formal school system.
“I will urge you to allow for the Almajiri to acquire vocational skills while also learning the Quran,“ the governor told the Tsangaya teachers.
Thereafter, Engineer Sule directed members of the association to liaise with the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), as well as his Special Advisers, with a view to finding ways government can intervene to curb street begging in the state.
Leader of the delegation, Gwani Abdullahi Aliyu, earlier in an opening remarks, said members of the association were at the Government House to inform the Governor of their resolve to abide by the decision taken by the Northern Governors Forum, as well as the Federal Government in order to curb street begging.
Gwani Aliyu disclosed that members of the association from across the state met and collectively agreed to abide by the decision to curb street begging, stressing that they are willing to support government in its effort to reduce street begging.
He added that the association was motivated to visit the Government House because Engineer Sule is also an Islamic scholar, having mounted the pulpit severally.
The group further distanced itself from the harrowing experience meted out to children who are being forcefully detained and tortured in so-called rehabilitation centres.
They called on the state government to come in and support them towards realizing the goal of curbing street begging across the state.
The association presented to Engineer Sule a hand written Qur’an, as well as a traditional slate for learning the Qur’an, while also pronouncing him as the patron of the association in the state.