Connect with us


13.2 million children out of school; ACRI tasks new govt. on implementation 



Mohammed Sabo Keana, Executive Director Almajiri Child Rights Initiative with some Almajiri children and IDPS children at UN house Abuja during the 2023 Almajiri Child Rights Day.

The administration of Former President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, passed  the National Commission for Almajiri and Out of School Children Education Bill 2023 into law. 

The Almajiri Child Rights Initiative (ACRI) in  a statement signed by the Executive Director of the initiative, Mohammed Sabo Keana, appealed to necessary stakeholders and the new government of Nigeria now led by Bola Ahmed Tinubu to work towards ensuring that every Nigerian child is educated.

A 2018 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) report estimated that Nigeria had about 13.2 million out of school children after rising from 10.5 million in 2010. Of this number 69% were estimated to be from Northern Nigeria.

The Universal Basic Education Commission(UBEC) in  2010 also estimated that 9.5 million Almajiri reside across the country, with the highest concentration in the north. 

The initiative acknowledged the contributions of Honourable Dr. Shehu Balarabe Kakale, and other members of the House of Representatives who worked to bring the bill into law. 

Parts of the statement read: “The Almajiri children experience severe violations of their rights before and during their time on the streets and in the hands of their caregivers. They are faced with multiple deprivations including lack of access to basic services, violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation, as well as vulnerabilities to alcohol and substance abuse.”

“Under the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), every single child has the right to quality education, food, clean water, good health and well-being, as well as protection from violence and exploitation. Since Nigeria has pledged, along with the rest of the world, to implement the SDGs by 2030, addressing the rights of all children must remain a priority. For this reason, a genuine pathway and sustainable solution to the future of Almajiri children is critical to achieving the ambition of securing education for all.”

“The establishment of the new National Commission for Almajiri and Out-of-School Children is therefore a significant step forward. While existing MDAs such as the Ministries of Education, Women Affairs, and Universal Basic Education Commission, have made efforts to tackle the problem, the sheer number of out-of-school children and the unique nature of the Almajiri issue necessitates the creation of a dedicated commission to address this pressing challenge.

“ACRI and our partners are committed to forming a community of practice to provide technical support and assistance to the newly established commission. We understand the importance of ensuring that the commission remains focused on delivering real solutions to the problems faced by Almajiri and out-of-school children, rather than merely serving as another avenue for employment. We are confident that through diligence and sincerity of purpose, this can lead to lasting change.”

“As a collective, we suggest that the commission adopts a specific timeframe for its existence, enabling expeditious work and timely achievement of milestones. This time-bound approach will reinforce the urgency required to address the Almajiri issue and ensure that tangible outcomes are achieved within a specified period. We also suggest that staff of the commission should be drowned from existing MDAs and agencies to reduce overhead cost and to ensure effective utilisation of funds meant for real interventions,” it said. 

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *