Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Goodluck Jonathan Commission School For Alimajiri's (Street Kids)

President Goodluck Jonathan said in his visit to Sokoto today Tuesday that his administration was committed to providing quality education for the 9.5 million street children, known as Almajiri, usually products of Quranic schools, but left to wander the streets by their teachers.

Jonathan stated this at the inauguration of the first Federal Government-owned Almajiri Model Boarding School, Gagi in Sokoto metropolis.
 The President said that the school was built for the Almajiri

as part of his administration’s determined effort to provide equal access to education for all Nigerian children. He recalled that a study conducted by the Ministerial Committee on Almajiri Education in 2010 revealed that there were 9.5 million Almajirai in Nigeria.

Out of the number, the President said that the North-West geo-political zone alone accounted for almost five million, that is more than 60 per cent of the total population of the Almajirai nationwide.

“The fact that the majority of these children do not attend conventional basic education schools makes the situation quite worrisome. Our administration believes that the time has come for the nation to build on the moral foundations of the traditional school system.

“By providing the Almajirai with conventional knowledge and skills that will enable them fully realise their creative and productive potentials,” he said.

Jonathan said he subsequently directed the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqqyyat Rufai, to liaise with the state governments and work out, the best approach for providing knowledge and skills for the youths.

“The Federal Government had pledged that every year for four years, that it will construct one hundred Almajirai schools to bring the total number of the schools to 400 nationwide. It is noteworthy that under this arrangement, the Federal Government has so far constructed 35 of such model schools.

“States with large populations of Almajirai will have both the boarding and day schools. Each school is equipped with a basic science laboratory, a computer room, vocational education workshop and a library.

Similarly, textbooks aligned to the national curriculum have been produced and teachers will be trained in line with the national policy on education and the national curriculum. The commissioning of the first model school in Sokoto today is only a precursor to the commissioning of other such schools, including the Day School located in Tambuwal town, which shall commence shortly,” the president said.

In addition to this, he said that additional support to states for the Almajirai education project was being provided through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC),

Corroborating the president’s position, Rufai said UBEC had constructed 51 Almajiri schools, boarding and day across the country.

The minister said that the UBEC intervention was to construct and thereafter hand over the schools to State Universal Basic Education Board to manage.

She said that the commission would also monitor the schools on a continuous basis to ensure compliance with minimum academic standards for basic education.

On the operations of the schools, Rufai said that the Federal Government would provide funds for the construction and equipment of the model schools.

She said that the Federal Government would also provide. textbooks and capacity-building for teachers.

The states, according to the minister, will be fully responsible for managing the schools, as well as the construction of additional schools in the long run in order to achieve the desired impact.

The minister said that the curriculum ran in the school should enable the students to continue their education beyond basic education in conventional secondary school and tertiary institutions.

She said that in case the students terminated at the basic level, the curriculum should also enable them to have acquired literacy and conventional skill to broaden their horizon. It will also enable them to be useful to themselves and the entire society


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