✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters
Click Here To Listen To Trust Radio Live
SPONSOR AD

A word for almajiri commission

President Tinubu recently appointed the board and management of the National Commission for Almajiri and Out-of-School Children. The almajiri and out-of-school children’s commission has the…

President Tinubu recently appointed the board and management of the National Commission for Almajiri and Out-of-School Children.

The almajiri and out-of-school children’s commission has the most difficult job to do in Nigeria; their job would involve changing the mind and behaviour of the people and enrolling street children into proper schools.

Nigeria currently has 12.4 million children not attending school. A recent statistic by The Cable Index showed that most out-of-school children across states in Nigeria (ages 6–15) are in the 19 northern states.

Efforts made by past administrations have failed to produce the desired outcomes. What led to this failure? The new commission must refrain from simply allocating funds without first comprehending the underlying challenges encountered by previous initiatives, notably the commendable almajiri school projects initiated during the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

According to its act, the National Commission for Almajiri Education and Out-of-School Children is to implement a multifaceted education system to combat illiteracy, introduce skill acquisition and entrepreneurship programmes, mitigate youth poverty, curb delinquency, and alleviate destitution in Nigeria.

To achieve success, the commission should adopt a straightforward, three-pronged strategy. Firstly, inclusion of tsangaya and informal teachers, as well as ulamas, should be integral to every policy, programme, or project undertaken by the commission.

Moreover, to enlist the support of these tsangaya teachers and ulamas, their input must be valued by incorporating their insights on seamlessly integrating almajirai into any project or programme.

Secondly, collaboration with state governments is crucial; without their involvement, no almajiri or out-of-school programme will succeed. The third approach involves reorienting parents about the risks associated with sending their children to towns and cities for almajiri education or allowing them to roam the streets selling goods. This can be achieved through preaching, traditional media, and social media campaigns.

The Commission for Almajiri and Out-of-School Children should perceive itself not merely as a government agency but as a catalyst entrusted with a crucial task. This task necessitates investing in the reform of informal almajiri education systems to provide quality education and vocational training, offering support to vulnerable families, and providing incentives to encourage them to enrol their children in formal schooling as well. Additionally, it involves engaging religious and community leaders to advocate for the significance of formal education and reforming the almajiri system. Enforcement of existing laws to enhance the conditions of almajiri schools is imperative. Furthermore, creating opportunities for economic empowerment for tsangaya teachers to prevent their reliance on the almajiri street activities for survival is essential. Lastly, launching extensive public awareness campaigns to shift societal perceptions about sending children away to fend for themselves is paramount.

 

Zayyad I. Muhammad wrote from Abuja