The Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, has engaged stakeholders in preparation to return 10,500 repatriated ‘Almajiri’ children to school.
The SUBEB Chairman, Tijjani Abdullahi, said this at the engagement of stakeholders, held on Thursday in Kaduna.
He said rewards would be given to states that achieve the target of successfully enrolling out-of-school and repatriated Almajiri children and others back to school.
SUBEB, under the Basic Education Service Delivery for All, BESDA, also plans to return to school 24,000 girls and 16,500 vulnerable children in 14 Local Government Areas, LGAs, in the state.
BESDA is a World Bank-support to Nigeria with US$ 611 million to get children back to school.
The stakeholders who would serve at forefront in the processes of returning the repatriated and other children to school are; Education Secretaries, Social Mobilisation Officers, Heads of Social and Mobilisation of the 14 LGAs and Education Marshals, among others.
Mr Abdullahi, represented by the Director, Quality Assurance, Malam Tanko Aliyu, said that the selected LGAs are those who had a lot of clustered Almajiris.
According to him, the funds being approved for the programme for enrolling back the children will be paid back by the state government if the task is not accomplished.
He urged those saddled with the task to work hard to accomplish it successfully for the befit of the communities and the state at large.
“Time is against us, however, the sole objective is not the reward which will be given per male or female child returned to school, but for the value and importance of education to our children who are our future leaders.
“With education, a lot of our social and insecurity issues will be addressed, as such, we can sleep with our two eyes closed,” he said.
Josephine Rikichi, SUBEB’s Chief Statistical Officer, said that the choice of the repatriated Almajiri children resulted from the nation’s call to return all Almajiris from all the states to their parents.
Rikichi said that many Almajiris from Kaduna, who are in other states were returned and that has crippled their education.
She noted that this prompted the idea of also returning the Almajiris to schools which the state had long been doing.
“Our targets is the repatriated children, whether they are parts of those repatriated within the state LGAs back to their respective LGA, or returned from other states.
“The children will be taken through basics for nine months in Non-Formal Centres which will be formally structured in various LGAs to determine the class each child will be mainstreamed into,” she said.
NAN reports that the stakeholders saddled with these responsibilities will sensitise parents, repatriated children and traditional leaders in the respective LGAs.
The stakeholders will also engage the children who attended school for easy identification from those who don’t, among many other strategies.
NAN also reports that the LGAs are; Birnin Gwari, Igabi, Ikara, Kachia, Kaduna-South, Kagarko, Kauru, Kubau, Kudan, Soba, Makarfi, Giwa, Zaria and Makarfi for the first phase of sensitisation and advocacy on returning repatriated Almajiri children and others to school.