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The Kaduna State government has said it rescued 160 Almajiri children around the state.
This information was contained in a statement authored by Muyiwa Adekeye, special adviser to Kaduna governor, Nasir El-Rufai on Friday.
The statement added that the operation which was carried out by state’s task force rescued the children that came from 13 states in the north and south of the country while others are from Benin Republic, Burkina Faso and Niger Republic.
Adekeye said, “Officials of the Kaduna State Government Task Force enforcing COVID-19 related regulations have rescued 160 children from locations that are neither authorised and licensed as schools nor as children’s homes.”
“By keeping children in unauthorised places, the locations were also in contravention of KDSG land use regulations and inconsistent with the policy of repatriating almajiri to their states and local governments of origin to continue their education under the care of their parents, and in properly registered and regulated schools.
“KDSG wishes to remind all non-governmental organisations, corporate entities, religious leaders and faith institutions that the state government has laws prescribing the free and compulsory education of all children in properly registered schools.
“The rights of the children described as almajiri to be treated with the dignity accorded all other children is a matter of fairness and equality of treatment that no responsible government should compromise.”
“Since then KDSG has undertaken a continuous exercise to identify locations where these children are being kept and taken steps to rescue them from such places and reunite them with their patents to continue their education,” he said.
“As part of the implementation of this policy, Kaduna State has received 1,118 children from the state who were relocated from other states.
“The children confirmed to be bona fide citizens of Kaduna state will be relocated to their local governments of origin and handed over to the Local Government Council officials for documentation, registration and future enrollment into schools under the care of their parents or guardians.
“The children from ECOWAS countries will be handed over to the Nigerian Immigration Service for necessary attention.”
Almajiri is a system of Islamic education practiced in northern Nigeria, where children leave their homes and stay with an Islamic scholar who teaches them and take on parental roles.
However, the system has over the years been corrupted with thousands of such children roaming the streets of Northern Nigeria as beggars and without any form of education. The almajiri system has significantly contributed to the 10 million out of school children in Nigeria.
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