Bauchi has about 500,000 Almajiri kids.
The Bauchi State Government built 620 Almajiri schools between 2007 and 2009 and integrated same into the Universal Basic Education system, Governor Isa Yuguda said.
Almajiri is a Hausa word for pupils of Qur’an memorisation who are usually boys between the age of seven and 15 years but also roam about with the purpose of getting assistance or alms from others.
The governor made the disclosure at the inauguration of the Tsangaya Islamiya Model School (a Qur’anic school), Buzaye in Bauchi Local Government Area of the state on Saturday.
He said the state government started integrating the Qur’anic school into basic education with only three schools, adding that “with the coming of this administration in 2007, the number of schools increased to 20 in 2009.”
“The number increased again and now we have 620, with an enrollment of 35,531 pupils.”
“All the schools have classrooms with quality facilities such as furniture, instructional materials, as well as qualified teachers.’’
Mr. Yuguda said three Tsangaya Islamiya Model Schools were built by the Federal Government in the state, noting that two of the three, the one in Buzaye and one in Azare, were approved by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and built at the cost of N350 million.
The other one at Sade in Darazo Local Government Area of Bauchi State was built by Universal Basic Education Commission.
He explained that the model school was aimed at introducing elements of basic education into the Qur’anic school system without interfering into the goals of the Qur’anic education system. He said that one of the objectives of the school was to provide decent learning environment and ensure the security and well-being of the pupils.
The governor urged non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations, and well-meaning individuals to support the initiative.
This, he added, could be by building more of such schools to complement the efforts of the state and the Federal Government.
Meanwhile, Sani Bura, the Bauchi State Commissioner for Water Resources, said the attainment of the MDGs education for all will remained a mirage without integrating the teeming Almajiri into the universal basic education scheme.
Mr. Bura, who oversees the Ministry of Education, pointed out that the attainment of Nigeria’s goals in the education sector would be incomplete without taking into account the plight of the more than nine million Almajiris in the northern part of the country.
The governor had said 500,000 children out of the number were from the state. Inaugurating the school, Vice President Namadi Sambo, said that the Federal Government had so far constructed 128 Almajiri schools in 28 states of the federation.
He said that out of the 128 schools, 89 were constructed by Universal Basic Education Commission, while 39 were constructed by the defunct Education Trust Fund now Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
“So far, 109 of the schools have been completed, while the remaining are at various stages of completion,” Mr. Sambo said.
The vice-president said available records indicated that the number of Almajiris in the country was more than nine million.
“This staggering figure does not only pose a great challenge in the achievement of education for all, it also pose serious challenge to the attainment of the development agenda of our great country.
“Any development plan that does not focus on comprehensive and all inclusive education programme will not lead Nigeria to the attainment of our desired social and economic development.”
“This is what informed Federal Government’s decision to include all Nigerian children in the transformation agenda of the education sector.
“The commissioning of this model school, today, demonstrates the unwavering commitment of the Federal Government to provide basic education to every Nigerian child.’’
Mr. Sambo said that the government intervention in basic education was to encourage the states and local governments to give opportunity to young children to realise their potential.
He commended the Bauchi State Government for building the schools. He urged traditional rulers, community leaders and other stakeholders to support the initiative of the state government.
Category: Bauchi State News