A group, 'Almajiri is also a child’, has said that abandoned children in the Northern part of Nigeria roaming the streets without any formal education were a big threat to the country’s future.
According to the organisation, without integrating such children known as Almajiris in Nigeria’s formal education system, the war against terrorism may not end in the near future.
The call follows the discovery of two centres in Kaduna and Katsina states where young boys in care of Islamic teachers known as mallams in local Hausa parlance, are chained and tortured in unkempt environments.
Convener of the group, Iliyasu Usman, said, “Against the backdrop of this grave danger, we engaged critical stakeholders on the need to find solution to the menace because if Almajiris are not accommodated in the formal education system, they will remain a big threat to Nigeria’s future.”
Also adding his voice to the debate, Vice President, Security, American University of Nigeria, Lionel Rawlings, said, “Government and indeed the society have a great responsibility of taking these children off the street and giving them basic education.”
According to a UNICEF report, Adamawa State alone is home to over 200, 000 Almajiris, while Nigeria has 9.5 million of these children at the moment – making up 72 percent of the country’s 13.2 million out of school children.