Teaching religious studies in schools can eliminate Almajiri phenomenon – Bello

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Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has proposed that the teaching of religious studies can help eliminate the Almajiri phenomenon in Nigeria.

He said this during a visit to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) headquarters in Abuja.

EduCeleb.com recalls that the Niger State government last week banned street begging across the state as part of security measures.

Unlike Kano and Nasarawa states which did the same earlier to promote access to basic education, the government said the move was for security concerns.

During his visit to UBEC, the Governor solicited the support of the commission in ensuring that religious studies is reintroduced into the school curriculum to assist in the revival of moral values and possibly eliminate the Almajiri phenomenon that has become a security threat in the country.

He acknowledged that some parents were shying away from their responsibilities of training their children but maintained that the government must come up with measures that would take the Almajiris out of Nigerian streets.

He urged the UBEC to make funds available to cater for special needs and disabled students, adding that special care for them will remove shame and stigma and boost their confidence.

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He had appealed to UBEC to accord special attention to technical and vocational education for entrepreneurship skills development that would create job opportunities for the growing number of unemployed youths in the state.

While appreciating the support received by the state from the UBEC, Governor Bello expressed displeasure over the deficit in school furniture and appealed to the commission for upward review of the 20 per cent allocation for furniture from the counterpart fund.

The governor, who used the opportunity to highlight some of the achievements of his administration in the education sector, told his host that since coming on board in 2015, his administration has constructed and or renovated over 2,500 schools across the state, 22 or which were completely overhauled under the administration’s pragmatic ‘Whole Schools Development Approach’.

The government has, through the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) recruited 2,500 Teachers and also established the Teacher Professional Development Institute (NSTPDI) in the three geopolitical zones of the state in a deliberate attempt to revive the seemingly comatose profession in the state, Governor Bello noted.

Earlier, UBEC executive secretary, Hamid Bobboyi commended the Niger State Government for the payment of it counterpart funds since 2013, saying that Niger is one of the few states in the country that have made the payments.

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Dr Bobboyi pointed out that the state’s commitment to the payment of its counterpart funds was responsible for the successes recorded by Niger SUBEB so far, as he pledged UBEC’s continued support.

In his words, “The governor meant well for the upliftment of Basic education in the state”.

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