The Federal and State Governments and other stakeholders have re-affirmed their support for the Almajiri Education Programme.The signing ceremony, took place, Friday, at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, during a special meeting to review the National Almajiri Education Programme, convened by President Goodluck Jonathan and chaired by Vice President Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo.
Vice President Sambo said that the meeting was convened to ensure that no Nigeria child was denied the right to qualitative education, which was part of the MDGs goals.
“The roles and responsibilities that this wide spectrum of stakeholders could play in this regard have been articulated in the programme documents. I therefore respectfully call on you, as key and critical stakeholders, to consider implementing this programme that we have just signed.”
“It is important to also mention here the other group of children who are denied access to education due to cultural and socio-economic reasons like in the south-east where children go to shops and therefore miss school opportunity are also being considered and all other less privilege children nationwide,” he said.
Arc Sambo disclosed that measures had been put in place to ensure the sustainability of the programme, maintaining that “there is now the political will on the part of this Administration to end the Almajiri phenomenon and allow all our children equal access to fresh air of basic education.”
In his remarks the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, called on the Federal Government to declare an education emergency in the North, observing that poverty and ignorance had helped fuel the current security challenges in the country.
Similarly the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, commended the Federal Government for the initiative, stressing the need for Nigerians to see the Almajiri programme not as a religious programme, but as a solution to a social problem.
Earlier the chairman of the National Committee on the Implementation of the Almajiri Education Programme, Professor Shehu Gladanchi, in his progress report stated that the programme had been classified into three Models, with the delivery of 102 of such schools by July.
He said some of the envisaged challenges to the initiative included the adoption and replication of the programme by states; effective management of the schools; integration of Alarammas/Mallams/Proprietors into the programme; continued sustainability of the programme and political commitment by successive governments; and how to overcome the issue of begging.
Vice President Sambo performed the signing ceremony on behalf of the Federal Government, Governor Amaechi on behalf of the States, while the Sultan of Sokoto signed for the Royal Fathers
Present at the occasion were the Governors of Katsina, Kaduna, Kogi, Niger, Kwara, Nassarawa and Zamfara. Also present were Deputy Governors, Minister and Minister of State for Education and the Minister of the FCT. Also present were Royal Fathers from across the country and other top government functionaries.
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