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FCT to train 1000 Almajiri children on skills acquisition

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THE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is set to engage at least 1000 street children popularly known as Almajiris in various skills acquisition programmes.

This was disclosed by the FCT Acting Director, Department of Social Welfare Services, Social Development Secretariat, Sabi Amar, on Thursday.

Amar noted that the training was geared towards achieving the goal set by President Muhammadu Buhari, to lift 100 million Nigerians out if poverty.


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“The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, directed that as part of the presidential mandate to remove 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, we engage Almajiris on vocational skills training and education.

“That will make them to be self-reliant and ensure that they too become employers of labour, as beggars and Almajiris have nothing doing other than going round soliciting for what to eat,” Amar said.

He noted that 120 Almajiri children had already been engaged from Islamic schools around the city in various skills acquisition programmes.

“We moved round the city and identified some Islamic schools closer to the city, to start with.

“We were able to come out with 120 Almajiris and engage them in different skills acquisition, such as carpentry, shoe making and painting,” he said.

He added that after the training, the children would be given funds to rent spaces for business based on the skills they had acquired.

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He also noted that it was part of efforts to rid streets within the nation’s capital of human nuisance.

The ICIR had reported that Almajiris make up a significant percentage of street children in states within Northern Nigeria, including the FCT.

Although Almajiri schools were originally established to enhance Quranic knowledge in children, some parents have abused the system and abandoned the welfare of their kids to the teachers, known as ‘Mallams’.

The mallams, who rely on charity for their own survival, are unable to meet the needs of the students and in many cases, send them out to beg for food, thereby exposing them to various forms of violence, including sexual abuse.

The children also run the risk of being incorporated into bad gangs and criminal groups.

Author profile

Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via vopara@icirnigeria.org

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