Almajiri schools have continued to operate in Kano State in spite of a ban by the government, a HumAngle investigation has revealed.
The investigation also revealed that some of the pupils that the government repatriated to other states have returned and some resorting to work as domestic helps.
Meanwhile, the state government said 192 almajirai in a COVID-19 isolation camp tested positive for coronavirus.
The State Commisioner for Education, Muhammad Kiru, who made the fact known at a briefing at the Government House on Thursday, said the government repatriated 1,183 almajirai to other states and received 244 returning children.
The commissioner said the Kano State Government, “fed the almajirai gave them the required healthcare and got them tested where we discovered 192 to be positive and got them isolated.”
When HumAngle visited Karaye NYSC Camp, where the children are being isolated, on Monday, May, 18, 2020, it found that they received little care in what looked like a colony.
The children were not organised and there was no evidence of medical care provided them as there were no medical personnel on ground to attend to them.
The facility was a sort of holding camp to sort those arriving from other states and determine who would be repatriated to another state.
While some slept on any available space on the ground, l several ran around playing.
On a repeat visit, it was found that there was no significant change from what HumAngle captured on a video recording previously.
New boarding schools for almajirai
The commissioner said the government had provided three almajiri boarding schools in three local governments areas of Madobi, Bunkure and Bagwai.
Kiru said, “The almajiri schools in the state now have the capacity to admit a total of 1,800 students in which there is an integrated curriculum that includes the Qur’anic and modern education.”
HumAngle reports that the state government previously established 12 almajiri schools in other local government areas which do not attract children as parents prefer traditional almajiri schools to the modern ones built by the government.
Unofficial statistics indicate that there are over 300,000 almajirai in Kano State. This means less than 0.6 per cent of the children were repatriated to other states.
The commissioner said the state had designed regulatory requirements for anyone intending to open almajiri schools, adding that any school that failed to meet the standards would be closed.
He said that, “all almajiri schools in the state have been closed down pending the opening of schools when the integrated system will begin to operate.”
But HumAngle found many almajiri schools opened during a visit to Kano State between June 27 and July 2, 2020.
In Goron Dutse, no fewer than 300 almajirai were seen in congested night classes. Attempts to speak to any of them or their teachers were unsuccessful.
Almajirai continue to find their way back
Almajirai continue to return to Kano state in spite of the government order closing their schools.
Meanwhile, many almajirai were warned by their teachers not to speak about their experiences.
Many of the children continue to roam the streets despite the ban against such activity.
In Kasuwar Kurmi, HumAngle spoke to one of them who was very careful in providing answers to questions.
“We still hold classes, but many of us go back to their villages.
“The few remaining are the ones who work as errand boys as begging is difficult these days,” the lad said.
A source told HumAngle that an almajiri who worked as an errand boy for her told her that some of his mates ran away from isolation centres.
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