Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari has said that the state has 996,000 out-of-school children. Quoting the statistics from a United Nations report while fielding questions from journalists on Friday; the governor, however, said most of the affected children were not Nigerians.
“Since they are now in Nigeria, they become part of our responsibility; and the government is doing what it can to make sure that it addresses the issue of Almajiris roaming the streets.”
The governor also said the state would incorporate the Qur’anic education system into the school feeding programme; as part of measures to integrate the system into western education.
Masari said, “We will work with the Universal Basic Education Commission and Federal Ministry of Education to see how we can come into the system and improve it.”
He said the census of all Qur’anic schools in the state would soon be taken; with students’ population and locations.
The governor said the state government had made an adequate arrangement with religious leaders on how to ensure the success of the programme.
According to Masari, under the arrangement, any scholar that is from Katsina State will have to go back to his community and teach the Almajiris there.
“We have to do away with cultural beliefs. A child can learn both Qur’anic and Islamic education at home; he does not need to go far away. We will also introduce western education into the system,” he said.
The United Nations Children’s Fund in 2018 announced 13.2 million out-of-school children in Nigeria; which is the highest in the world.
According to the report, most of the children live in the North; with the majority in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, where Boko Haram activities have disrupted academic programmes.