Lawmaker seeks stakeholders’ collaboration to tackle Almajiri challenge

SEN. Akon Eyakenyi

SEN. Akon Eyakenyi (PDP-Akwa-Ibom) on Thursday sought the collaboration of stakeholders in the education sector to tackle the issues surrounding Almajiri system of education in the country.

Eyakenyi who represents Akwa-Ibom South Senatorial District made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

The lawmaker who decried the manner in which the Almajiri children were being “conveyed in trucks” from one state to the other as a means to guard against the spread of COVID-19, described the system as a socio-religious problem.

He added that the problem needed to be tackled by stakeholders and state governments.

“The way forward is for the state governments to be involved; for the stakeholders and parents to be involved.

“Because I cannot see why someone will bring forth children and not be able to take care of them. You must be able to have children that you must be able to take care of.

“You have two or you have three children; your income should be able to handle the number of children produced.

“You want to have more than you can swallow and then the next thing is to send them out to go and start begging to earn a living.

“Where are you taking them to, who are those you are sending them to go and beg from. You should be in a position to take care of your own children,” she said.

On the limited number of Almajiri schools across the country, Eyakenyi said that given the COVID-19 pandemic, what was expected was for the management of schools to come up with measures that would help stop the spread of the disease.

“The structures we have cannot accommodate the existing number of children during the COVID-19 period.

“We cannot send the children all back to school at the same time. There is a strategy the ministry alongside the stakeholders are trying to put up to ensure they are taken care of when they get back to school.

“If Churches and Mosques can go back and they say, do distance spacing, what stops the schools from doing so.

“They can go in two sets, what it takes is determination. If we decide to do it, we have to start something.

“We cannot fold our hands and say because of COVID-19 let the children not go back to school, the education system will totally collapse.

“This is the third term almost running out. We are about to enter the long vacation. And by September the school session is supposed to resume. If the children lose a whole session, how do we make up,” she said. (NAN)

– Jun. 25, 2020 @ 18:35 GMT |

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