A 30-year old mom of three known as Jamila Abubakar has gotten many celebrating her after she sued her husband over her children’s education.
According to Abubakar, a resident of Rido, Kaduna, she sued her now ex-husband after he took two of their children to an Almajiri school ignoring a formal education.
Jamila kicked against this pleading with the court that the children be returned to their formal education environment while continuing their Islamic education, she won the cout case.
Speaking with Daily Trust, Jamila spoke on the role women in the education for their kids.
Daily Trust: What motivated you to take your former husband to court?
Jamila Abubakar: The major reason for taking my former husband to court is to take my two children to school and the aim is to save the future of our children by acquiring both Western and Islamic education like any other child in the society. I want my children to be educated.
DT: What is your level of education?
Jamila: I attended primary school. I believe education is good, sweet and something to be cherished. One day, God willing, I hope to further my education. Education is light, education is power, education is a meaningful tool for better life of an individual and society. It is the greatest treasure you can give to your child that has a reward both in this world and the hereafter.
DT: How do you view western education?
Jamila: Western education is a modern way of acquiring knowledge in the present day world. It is a valuable tool for every human being to relate and compete favourably with others and if you don’t have this kind of education your life will be incomplete.
DT: What is your understanding of Almajiri schools?
Jamila: Almajiri school is an archaic system of learning where a child acquires the knowledge of the Holy Quran away from the child’s parents. But unfortunately this has now become something else, a nuisance and to me it is no more a good process to give your child quranic knowledge. Almost all the children in Almajiri schools are just roaming the streets wasting their precious time without getting either the quranic education or any skills to depend on. I think Islamic education can be acquired with children living under the care of their parents where they can go school and come back home. So, to me it is better to have your child going to any type of school under your watch.
DT: What role do you think women can play to stem this?
Jamila: I believe women have a better role to play to bring about the desired change of attitude of men tow ards the issue of Almajiri system of education. Women should first start with prayers and act depending on their circumstances with their spouses because my former husband does not know the value of education but other husbands or parents may know. The change can begin from the family and it should not be through disagreement or quarrel but through dialogue. A woman can change the mind set of her husband against the Almajiri school. It must not be necessarily by going to court but if the situation warrants them to go why not? Women should try to exhaust all the cultural and religious avenues to convince their spouses to understand the dangers of enrolling their children in Almajiri school and the implications of depriving them the opportunity to have western education. You know we have cultural values that negate open confrontation with our spouses. I am not saying that quranic education is bad but we have a modern way of pursuing quranic education under the watch of parents. Women have responsibilities to help our children by campaigning against Almajiris roaming the streets. Women can start with dialogue, consultation within the immediate family before going out to the society. The menace of these abuses of our children can be drastically reduced if married women, divorcees and other women in the society understand the need to make our society better. Women have a role to play especially in curtailing the issue of Almajiri system in Northern Nigeria.
DT: What do want your children to achieve in future?
Jamila: I want my children to become self-reliant, to have good jobs like other decent people in the country. I want them to become medical doctor or engineer, military officer or police officer and any good job for a responsible person in the society.
DT: Now that the court has returned your children to you, what kind of assistance do you need to educate them?
Jamila: I thank Almighty Allah for helping me to salvage my children and also thank the court. I will continue to pray for God’s intervention. I am still searching for a job and will continue to strive for something to do. I am appealing to privileged individuals, groups and government to help me with a job for the upkeep of myself and the children.
DT: How would you be able to provide for your children with the N6000 maintenance allowance the court ordered your husband to be paying?
Jamila: The money fixed by the court is not enough to cater for the feeding of three children monthly but I don’t have any option for now. I am appealing to governments at all levels and well-meaning Nigerians to come to my aid and support me and the children to actualize my dream of educating them. Even the stipulated amount may not be forthcoming although the money will be deposited on every 28th of the month in the court. I leave everything to Allah.
DT: Do you have any skill or business to help you cater for yourself and the children?
Jamila: No I don’t have any for now but I will continue to struggle for small scale trading or any other job as a means of livelihood. Not only that, if I get a job I still want to further my education to secondary school level, Insha-Allah.
DT: What is the way out as you don’t have any means of livelihood and now living with your mother who is a widow?
Jamila: I will seek from Allah who is the provider and try to seek support from relatives and good spirited people in the society to assist me.
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