Reps. endorse Almajiri Education Commission

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The National Commission for Almajiri Education and Out-of-School Children has been established, thanks to a bill that the House of Representatives endorsed for second reading.

The bill was sponsored by Shehu Kakale, a Sokoto State representative in the House, and 18 other people.

“A Bill for an Act to Establish a National Commission for Almajiri Education and Out-of-School Children to Provide for a Multimodal System of Education to Combat the Menace of Illiteracy, Develop Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Programs, Prevent Youth Poverty, Delinquency, and Destitution in Nigeria; and for Other Purposes,” was the name of the proposed law.

The bill was passed for second reading about 24 hours after former President Olusegun Obasanjo warned that the over 20 million out-of-school children in Nigeria, which constituted almost 10 per cent of global statistics, were potential terrorists.

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On Wednesday during the second reading of the bill, Kakale, who was moderating the discussion, stated: “As of September 2022, the United Nations Children’s Fund estimated that there were 18.5 million out-of-school children in Nigeria. On the other hand, the Universal Basic Education Commission put the number at 13.2 million. Based on a rough estimate of the number of out-of-school children in each state in the nation, the statistics seem even grimmer.

“Several challenges are associated with the high number of out-of-school children in Nigeria. Out-of-school children in Nigeria are vulnerable to exploitation and recruitment by insurgents, human traffickers, and other criminal elements of society

“Mr. Speaker, it was in recognition of the enormity of this situation that you urged members of the House of Representatives to do something to save the millions of out-of-school children, with a special focus on the fate of almajiri children in Nigeria.”

Several members of the House, including the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, backed the bill.

Meanwhile, the House Committee on Basic Education and Services laid its report on a bill seeking to establish a National Senior Secondary Education Commission on Wednesday.

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