Kaduna to return 10,500 repatriated almajirai, others to school

Almajiri children

The Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has engaged stakeholders to return 10,500 repatriated almajirai to school.

The SUBEB chairman, Tijjani Abdullahi, disclosed this at the engagement of stakeholders, held on Thursday in Kaduna.

He said rewards would be given to states that achieve the target of successfully enrolling out-of-school and repatriating almajirai and others to school.

SUBEB, under the Basic Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA), also plans to return to school 24,000 girls and 16,500 vulnerable children in 14 local government areas.

BESDA is a World Bank support to Nigeria with $611 million to get children back to school.

The stakeholders who would serve at the forefront in returning the repatriated almajirai and other children to school include education secretaries, social mobilisation officers, heads of social and mobilisation of the 14 LGAs and education marshals, among others.

Mr Abdullahi stressed that the selected LGAs are those with large clusters of almajirai. According to him, the funds approved for the programme will be paid back by the government if the task is not accomplished.

“Time is against us. However, the sole objective is not the reward which will be given per male or female child returned to school, but for the value and importance of education to our children who are our future leaders,” he explained. “With education, a lot of our social and insecurity issues will be addressed, as such, we can sleep with our two eyes closed.”

Josephine Rikichi, SUBEB’s chief statistical officer, explained that the choice of the repatriated almajirai resulted from the nation’s call to return all Almajiris from all the states to their parents.

Ms Rikichi noted that many Kaduna almajirai in other states were forcibly sent back to Kaduna, crippling their education.

“Our targets are the repatriated children, whether they are parts of those repatriated within the state LGAs back to their respective LGA or returned from other states,” she pointed out. “The children will be taken through basics for nine months in non-formal centres which will be formally structured in various LGAs to determine the class each child will be mainstreamed into.”

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