No fewer than 13,000 Almajiri children have been enrolled in an Almajiri school located in the Keffi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, while 8, 000 out-of-school children have also been reorganised and admitted to conventional schools in the area.
The initiator of the Almajiri school, the Emir of Keffi, Dr Shehu Yamusa III, disclosed this on Thursday when the Progressive Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists paid him a visit in Keffi.
The monarch said the Keffi Emirate Council had decided to embark on a headcount of Almajiri children and out-of-school children in the area as a measure aimed at discouraging more parents from abandoning their children on the streets.
The Emir said he had already set up a committee to tackle the issue and taken an inventory of all Islamic schools in the local government area, as well as obtained the total number of Almajiris in Keffi aimed at getting actual figures of out-of-school -children and Almajiris in the LGA.
The paramount ruler stated that in order to avert the menace, traditional institutions in the 13 LGAs and 18 development areas have been asked to key into the initiative being undertaken by the Keffi Emirate Council.
He, however, affirmed that the Keffi LGA had pledged to provide school uniforms and materials for the reintegrated out-of-school children.
The monarch, who advocated the idea of adopting out-of-school children in Nasarawa by well-meaning and spirited individuals, said the idea, if embraced, would go a long way in reducing crimes and criminality in the state and the country at large, stressing that it would also reduce street begging.
He said, “The Emirate Council has set up a committee to organise and ensure that the local government becomes free of street beggars and a permanent solution put in place to tackle the prevailing situation.”
“A situation where children were being used for begging under the guise of the Almajiri system was not just condemnable. It should be banned in the country.” Commending the Governor Abdullahi Sule initiative towards eliminating street begging in the state, he pledged his support for the programme
Earlier, the Chairman of the Chapel, Mr Donatus Nadi had acknowledged the contribution of the paramount ruler to efforts aimed at maintaining peaceful co-existence among the people living within his domain and the state at large.
Nadi, who urged other traditional rulers in the state to emulate the Emir of Keffi, gave the monarch the assurance that the NUJ chapel was ready to partner the state in its efforts to transform the state.