ALMAJIRI EDUCATION TO EXTEND TO OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY – VP
The Vice President, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, has said that a meeting with State Governors and traditional rulers has been convened as a forum to consider and agree on ways of extending the Almajiri Education programme to cater for all similar problems in all parts of the country.
Speaking today at a review meeting of the Almajiri Education Programme held at the State House, Abuja, Vice President Sambo noted that “it has been recognised now that there are several other children out there, throughout the country, who are indigent and cannot afford basic formal education and that is why government has risen to the occasion to tackle the challenges posed by this growing phenomenon”.
He charged the Review Committee “to assess the situation as at now and come up with suggestions on how to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the programme”, adding that the review should be along an increased participation of stakeholders, particularly States and local governments as well as the traditional institutions, with a view to effectively contributing positively towards ensuring the success of the programme.
Other modus operandi of the review included putting in place an efficient mechanism for building synergies and collaborations among various relevant agencies and institutions; evolving more elaborate, sustainable and participatory funding and responsibility sharing mechanism, among others.
Reminding the Committee of the objective of the Almajiri education programme, he said “President Goodluck Jonathan has given clear directives that the goals of providing opportunity to all the 9.5 million Almajirais to attend formal education while also having Islamic education must be ensured.” He emphasised the need for sustenance of the programme, stating that Federal Government has decided to share with the State government the provision of uniforms and books. He also disclosed that the Islamic Development Bank was ready to fund the bilingual education through private sector arrangement.
In her remarks, the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai, who led the delegation said 36 schools handled by the UBEC were at various stages of completion while some of them are ready for commissioning and 66 others being handled by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund are also at various stages of completion. She said by the end of the year a total of 102 Almajiri schools would be built.
Based on the principle of partnership, she said further that responsibilities were clearly defined between the Federal and State Governments and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was singed with each participating state in which responsibilities were spelt out.
Prof. Rufai disclosed that although important milestone has been achieved, yet there are challenges in the area of management of the schools after commissioning and handing over to States; sustainability and establishment of additional schools.
Those on the delegation were the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Prof. Mamood Yakubu; Prof. J. A. A. Galadanci, Chairman Implementation Committee; Minister of State for Education, among others.
For: SSA (Media and Publicity) to the Vice President.