Kano bans street begging almajiri children

Some Almajiri beggars in Kano

Towards consolidating on its free and compulsory primary and secondary school education programme in Kano State, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has banned Almajiris from begging on the streets.

The governor made this known Tuesday during the distribution of offer of appointment letters to 7,500 volunteer teachers in the state as part of the Basic Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) initiative in the state.

A statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Abba Anwar indicated this.

EduCeleb.com reports that Kano State is home to the highest number of out-of-school children in Nigeria, constituting about 12 percent of the over 10.1 million children.

Almajiri is a diminutive for itinerant students of Qur’anic schools in distant lands from their parents. These days, they are usually left fend for themselves through street begging or doing menial jobs.

In the precolonial era, indigenous governments used to fund their schooling and upkeep but TQ advent of British colonial rule almost a century ago led to abolishing of such an arrangement, thus leading to the present state of affairs.

Government authorities in Kano have continued to adopt various strategies in integrating children in such schools into the formal education system.

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The state governor believes that the integration of the Almajiri system to the policy will address the lingering problem of the social menace of begging in the state.

Mr Ganduje said, “This policy of free and compulsory basic and secondary education goes along with it integration of our Almajiri system into the mainstream policy implementation which suggests that, English and Arithmetic must be included in the Almajiri school curriculum.”

“…while they [Almajiris] will continue acquiring their study of the Holy Qur’an, they would at the same time learn English and Arithmetic, that will give them an opportunity to continue with their studies to secondary schools and beyond,” he explains.

The governor noted that 7,500 newly recruited volunteer teachers would be posted to Islamiyyah and Almajiri schools, “so that our Almajiri schools would be fully integrated under our new policy of education”.

Mr Ganduje, therefore, warned that all the Almajiri teachers who doesn’t abide by the new school arrangement, stressing that, “If you think you cannot accept that then you leave the state!”

In his remarks, the chairman of the Kano State Universal Basic Education Board, (SUBEB) Dr Danlami Hayyo revealed that, apart from construction of new classes and renovation of many, the state government had procured about 16,327 3-Seater chairs for the schools.

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