The video of almajiri children scrambling for the remnants of food left by a man in Karonmajigi, Nigeria has gone viral, sparking outrage and sadness. The video shows the children, some of whom are barefoot and visibly malnourished, fighting over scraps of food.
Almajiri is a system of Islamic education in northern Nigeria. Under this system, young boys (4 years old and above) are sent to live with Islamic teachers, called malams, and receive Islamic knowledge. However, many almajiri children are not properly cared for by their malams and are forced to beg for food on the streets.
The video is a reminder of the plight of almajiri children in Nigeria. They are often neglected and abused, and they lack access to basic necessities like food, shelter, and education.
The parents of these children are partly to be blamed for their situation. They are the ones who send their children to live with malams just to avoid their responsibility whereas their children can seek for Islamic knowledge within their community. However, the government also bears some responsibility. They have not done enough to regulate the almajiri system.
Northern leaders need to courageously ban Almajiri because it has outlived its purpose.
See the video below: