FG: Some Northern States Mismanaging Primary Education

*Says almajiri school programme wrongly implemented

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The federal government has accused some northern state governments of alleged mismanagement of the basic education in their stated.

Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who levelled this allegation yesterday at a news briefing at the State House, Abuja, also said the situation was discouraging the federal government’s bid to intervene in the educational programme, noting also that the problem. With the Almajiri education was that it was wrongly implemented.

The federal government had established the National Commission for Nomadic Education in 1989 to provide access to basic education by the nomadic population of the country, with the aim of boosting literacy and equipping them with skills and competences to enhance their well-being and participation in the nation-building process.

On the state of nomadic education in the country, the minister said the scheme had suffered a similar fate as basic education in several northern states.

“The problem we have in nomadic education is like the problem I had when I came with my journalistic exuberance into government. I believed an emergency will be declared.

“The way our primary schools are…and I would like to say this about governors, especially, in the northern states, it is as if they are looking for power to destroy education at the primary school level, except for a few.

“I don’t think there’s any governor, who has any good story to say about primary education and nomadic education, the federal government is only making intervention. So, unless we have full cooperation from the states, I think achieving the objectives of nomadic education will take a long time to come. I hope states will change their attitude,” he said.

Further, he said, “But on reflection, not by me, but by the government, we found that declaring the emergency is more of a matter for states. And so, my effort was directed at the states. When I presented my memo to the Council, I was asked to go and present it to the National Economic Council.

“I presented the paper three times trying to convince state governments to see the wisdom in declaring emergency, at least, in the primary schools, and then that will strengthen the hand of the government, even if by way of intervention, to help the states to rescue primary schools”.

He stressed that his efforts at the federal level as minister will “amount to nothing if the foundational education system is already rotten.”

The United Nations Children Fund, in 2018, said over 60 per cent of Nigeria’s out-of-school children were located in the Northern part of the country.

Adamu also said the Almajiri system inherited from the Jonathan administration was not properly implemented.

His words: “I think the conception of Almajiri schools and how to run them were not properly done by the government we inherited. But I know right now they are being incorporated into our schools.

“As I told you, there are now about six million out-of-school children, probably some of them, who are trooping here (Abuja), but certainly there should be government policy to stop the movement of Almajiri or Almajirai, as they’re called in Hausa; a provision should be made for instructing them wherever they are.”

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