Years after it was largely rejected, the Nigerian Senate is seeking to revive the Almajiri Schools built by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Senate has said there is a need to integrate Almajiri education into the modern educational system being operated in other parts of the country.
According to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, out-of-school children is one of the biggest challenges facing the country.
The senate President lamented that out-of-school children pose a social and security challenge to the country.
Senator Adamu Aliero (APC – Kebbi Central) in response sponsored a motion on “The Need to Integrate Almajiri Education into Modern System of Education in Nigeria.”
According to the Senator;
“We have more than 14 million out-of-school children, most of them being Almajiri roaming the streets of our major cities in Nigeria begging for alms and food.”
He noted further that the Almajiri Integrated Model Schools built by former president Jonathan was a laudable project that allowed the children acquire both Islamic and western education.
He however lamented the current state of the structures;
“Some of the structures are either laying fallow or put into uses other than what they were originally intended for and some of the facilities in the Almajiri Model Schools are already decaying as they have never been put to use.”
He concluded by informing the House that Almajiri education is covered by the UBE Act of 2004 for the purpose of providing basic education.
Reacting to the motion, Senate President Lawan reiterated the problems posed by out-of-school children.
“They constitute not only social problems, but also security problems to some extent.
“Therefore, it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to ensure that they are enrolled in primary and secondary schools,” he said.
Contributing to the motion, Senator Sabi Abdullahi (APC -Niger North) emphasised that the 9th Senate was committed to solving the problem of out-of-school children in the country.