Universal Basic Education (UBEC) former Executive Secretary, Prof. Ahmed Modibbo, has disclosed that northern governors frustrated the integration of the almajiri school with western education, planed by former President Goodluck Jonathan. The former UBEC chief stated this at lecture with the theme, ‘Before the ban on the almajiri system of education in Nigeria, which was organized by the Centre for Historical Documentation and Research of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State at the weekend.
Recall that the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan in an attempt to keep almajiris off the streets, spent billions of naira to build model schools aimed at integrating the almajiri school with the western education. But this met a brick wall as it was resisted and abandoned soon after Jonathan left office.
The UBEC former boss said the project did not succeed simply because the government of the region abandoned the project. He said, “The northern state governors left the schools unoccupied, abandoned and vandalised. They neither take them over, nor fulfilled their obligations as contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Federal Government.
“The state governments were not happy with the decision of the Federal Government to undertake the project through UBEC and the Education Tax Fund as they wanted the money to be given to them so that they could nominate contractors for the project.”
Northern Nigeria accounts for millions of street kids of school age who have taken to the almajiri culture, which is retrogressive to the development of the child. All across the north, almajiris (underaged children that are out of school and not catered for) are seen all over the places begging to earn a living rather than be in school, a serious societal menace, which the administration of former President Jonathan wanted to correct but was sabotaged by the governors of the north.