Almajiri education: Buhari admits elites’ failure

President Buhari [File photo]

President Muhammadu Buhari has admitted that the Nigerian elite failed in addressing the plights of the almajiri and other poor persons.

He was speaking in Abuja when he hosted top government officials including the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Ministers, Security Chiefs and Chief Executives of Federal Government Agencies to a breaking of fast at the Presidential Villa on Monday.

The president lamented the inability of the Nigerian elites to address the welfare and educational needs of the less-privileged in the country.

“When I drive around the country, what upsets me very much is the status of our poor people in this country. You see young people, the so-called Almajiris with tore dresses, with plastic bowl. They are looking basically for what to eat.

“The question of education to them is a luxury. I think as Nigerian elites we are all failing because I think we should have a programme that will at least guarantee some basic education for our people no matter how poor they are.”

He used the medium to state that his government was doing to address that through the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme part of the Social Investment Programmes (SIP) domiciled in the office of the Vice-President. The president said school feeding was improving school enrolment.

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“So, I welcomed the Vice-President initiative of the School feeding programme. If you check in your localities the enrollment into schools improved because a lot of children can get at least one good meal a day. This is the position of this country.”

“But, culturally some of us are quite merciless, we don’t care about what happen to others we just keep on moving forward,” he said.

The Almajiri children constitute a bulk of Nigeria’s out-of-school children who are left on the streets to fend for themselves from around age five. had previously reported about the plights of the Almajiri and non-sustainability of previous government intervention in building more Almajiri Model Schools across the country or supporting existing ones, which are poorly maintained by state governments.

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