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Kaduna Evacuates 35,000 Almajiri Children, Receives Over 1,000

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At least 35,000 Almajiri children have been evacuated to 17 states and some neighbouring countries by Kaduna state Government.

This was made known by the Kaduna Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Baba, Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The Commissioner however said over 1000 Almajiri children have been received by the state government.

Baba explained that the measure was part of the state government’s efforts toward ensuring that all children received both Quranic and western education under the care of their parents.

She said that with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the ministry was documenting, counselling, and providing basic healthcare to the Almajiri evacuated from other states.

The Commissioner said, “This is crucial because apart from COVID-19, some of the Almajiri had skin diseases and other ailments that need to be treated before reuniting them with their families.

“Although enrolling the children into school is the responsibility of the ministry of education, the ministry of human services is currently assessing the state of Tsangaya schools across the state.

“We want to determine their proximity and suitability for enrolling some of the Almajiri living close to such schools where they will acquire both Quranic and western education.”

The commissioner said that the government would continue to take delivery of every Almajiri indigenous to the state and would continue to engage Islamic teachers as parts of community engagement.

She added the ministry would equally continue engaging traditional leaders and relevant stakeholders in communities for them to understand that the children need to be taken care of by their parents.

Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i had recently warned that parents who enroll their children into the Almajiri education system stand the risk of prosecution and up to two years jail.

El-Rufai said that all the Almajiri pupils repatriated from other states of the country would be given all the opportunity they deserved to grow and develop.

“We will continue to take delivery of every Almajiri pupil indigenous to Kaduna state for rehabilitation, treatment and enrollment into formal school nearest to where their parents live,” the governor said.

Also, Governors across northern states on had agreed to ban the almajiri system as part of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This formed part of the discussion at a meeting convened via teleconference by Governor of Plateau state, Simon Lalong, and chairman of the northern governors’ forum.

The meeting was attended by 17 governors

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