From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
In a bid to do away with the menace of street begging in Kano state, Al-Ummah Development Foundation (ADF) has launched a project, named Almajiri Intervention Pilot Project in the state.
Speaking during the launch of the project, Technical Coordinator of the project, Ibrahim Waiya said the pilot project involved 300 almajiri boys in three towns, namely Wudil, Garo and Kabo in Wudil and Kabo Local Government areas respectively.
According to him, the project, which has begun in April, would span up to the period of twelve months, adding that the beneficiaries were drawn from three tsanagaya schools as 100 boys were selected from each of the schools.
Waiya explained that the project was sponsored solely by the ADF, but did not rule out support from government, individuals and other Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
“No fund from government. It is solely sponsored by Hajiya Zinat, the founder of the foundation. However, we call on other wealthy individuals to join the project in a bid to support it. We are hoping to expand the project if we see the outcome of this pilot one.
“ We need to be resolute to do such projects. We should be reliant of government on everything. We need to do developmental projects ourselves, that is why i said this program is solely sponsored by the ADF,” Waiya said.
He explained that the almajiris that benefitted from the project had been given instructional materials such as books, bags, pens, pencils and study tablets, adding that they would no longer beg throughout the 12 month period as they would be given food three days daily.
Waiya further stated that the selected almajiris would be taught vocational skills, adding that some grants would be awarded to them in a bid to make them self-reliant.
“We are doing this project to discourage the primitive way of learning. We want to discourage street begging because it a bad practice that doe not contribute to the societal development.
“We are calling on governments to emulate this project in order to formalize tsangaya education. It is high time for government to declare stare of emergency on education in Kano state.
“The government is not ready to end street begging because it has employed only one strategy, that is repatriation of the almajiris. This is counterproductive and stands to be condemnable.
“If you want to stop street begging and formalize tsangaya system of education, you have to put robust and effective arrangements in place. Therefore, government needs to be serious about this issue,” he said.