Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, says the plan by the federal government to ban the Almajiri system of education is not immediate.
Babagana Monguno, national security adviser, had announced that the government was planning to proscribe the educational system in a bid to curb insecurity.
The announcement had generated reactions from Nigerians.
In a statement on Friday, Shehu said while the government of President Muhammadu Buhari wants all children in school, “we don’t want to create panic or a backlash”.
He said due consultations will be made with relevant agencies before any action is taken.
“The abrogation of the Almajiri (Qur’anic learning system associated with begging on economic and religious grounds peculiar to some Northern states) system of education remains an objective but there is no immediate ban of it by the Buhari Administration,” Shehu said.
“The presidency, therefore, calls for caution in responses to the pronouncements by President Muhammadu Buhari on free and compulsory basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age in Nigeria, during his speech on Thursday, June 20, at the inauguration of the National Economic Council (NEC).
“While the Buhari administration is 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 would follow due process and consultation with relevant authorities.
“Indeed, the federal government wants a situation where every child of primary school age is in school rather than begging on the streets during school hours.
“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.
“Free and compulsory primary school education is a requirement of the Nigerian constitution and any individual or group not in compliance with this is violating the law of the land and liable to be punished.”