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The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has put the number of Almajiris in the North-east part of the country, at 2,711,767, representing 25 per cent of the total 9.5 million Almajiris population in Nigeria.
Almajiris are the migrant street urchins who learn the Quran on the side with a mallam and beg for alms the rest of the time.
Thisday Newspaper reports that in the statistics reeled out by the international body at the weekend, Borno State alone contributes a total of 1.8 million almajiri, making it the state with the highest number of such children across the country.
Education Officer, United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) D-Field Office in Bauchi, Muntaka Mukhtar Mohammad, disclosed this in Gombe yesterday at the one-day dissemination of reviewed national benchmark for integrating basic education into Quranic schools in Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe states organised by the State Agency for Mass Education (SAME) in collaboration with UNICEF.
He said there are over 10.5 million out of school children in Nigeria with 9.5 million of the figure constituting the almajiri population across the nation. He said the situation requires urgent attention as it poses a big threat to social cohesion and active citizenship in the country.
Director Literacy and Development, Abuja, Musa Hassan Gusau, while presenting synopses of the reviewed national benchmark for integrating basic education into Quranic schools, said the document consists of six distinct but related sections.
The meeting highlighted the current situation of integrating Quranic Tsangaya Education (IQTE) in Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe states. It was meant to address some key issues regarding the current status of IQTE in the four states.