The Kaduna State government in collaboration with the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), on Wednesday, flagged-off cash disbursements to the Almajiri children under the “Children Street Programme”.
Under the programme, 2,674 Almajiri who have been reunited with their families will receive N5,000 cash transfers to enroll in school or learn some skills.
The funding is being provided by UNICEF.
Speaking at the event in Kaduna, the deputy governor of the state, Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa, who stood in for governor Nasir El-Rufai, said education and welfare of children is very dear to the government in its quest for human capital development.
According to her, “the focus on human capital development and equal opportunities informed government’s
decision to make education free and compulsory for the first 12 years of schooling.
She explained that the government has also taken steps to address the distortions in the Almajirci/Tsangaya system to ensure that no child is left behind in enjoying the right to education.
Sabuwa who was represented by James Kanyip, Deputy Chief of Staff, Government House, said, the government is replacing the current practice of the Almajiri system “with a more organised and humane system that allows the children to access the indicators of human development such as qualitative education and healthcare.”
“That is why Malam Nasir El-Rufai ensured that Kaduna state enacted the Child Welfare and Protection Law in 2018, to domesticate the Child Rights Act and to further strenghten policies and measures being taken to promote the access of all children to decent education and health care,” she said.
She said further that the government has also taken steps to ensure that vulnerable persons are covered in the Kaduna State contributory health insurance scheme.
She said the government is also working to raise the income level of parents and youths in the state.
In a goodwill message UNICEF’s Child Protection Specialist, Dr. Wilfred Mamah, said, UNICEF, in partnership with State Ministry of Human Services, recorded the highest number of successful re-unifications of 10,817 Almajiri children across the country following the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also said a total of 209,950 children in street situation, including adolescent girls has been captured in Child Protection Information Management System (CPIMS).
According to Mamah, there are 105,726 Almajiri children outside family care while 104,224 adolescent girls are out of school.
He said, “COVID 19 brought to the front burner the heightened vulnerability of children on the street especially, Almajiri children who lack parental support and care.
He said Kaduna State’s response to COVID 19 which save the lives of the Almajiri children would, for a long time, remain the reference point for humane re-unification.
“The Almajiri situation and the revolving door scenario that characterize it remain one of the critical drivers of out-of school children that blot the great achievements of this State.
Mamah said further that UNICEF is collaborating with the Ministry of Human Services to deliver critical services to the re- united Almajiri children and facilitate their full integration with their communities.
He said UNICEF has been able to deliver the following services to 2674 children who remained at home after the re-unifications: setting up of children’s bank accounts, cash transfers, enrolment of NIN, legal identification and birth registration, enrolment into schools with SUBEB providing reading materials.
He appealed to the governor
to “consider the urgent release of a matching grant which your excellency promised at the take-off of this project”, considering the enormity of the problem.”
Leave a Reply