By Ibrahim HassanWuyo
Chairman of Kubau Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State, Alhaji Sabo Aminu Anchau, has said that the death of 8 Almajirai in Gilmor river of Kaduna state who were returning from farm work, has made his council to suspend the Almajiri system in his locality
The council boss said henceforth, his administration will not allow any activity that involved child labour and exploitation of minors.
In an interview with journalists, Aminu Anchau said the action became necessary so as to stop the incessant exploitation of children in the name of Almajiri education.
“Some Malams have developed the habit of admitting more than 100 pupils in a school and forced them to work on their farms.
“Last farming season, the council lost 8 Almajiri in the Gilmor River. The Malam took them to work for him on his farm across the river. On their way back, they entered a canoe to cross the river.
“When the boat got to the middle of the river its engine went off and the children were left to the current of the river.
“Some of the Almajirai observed that the boat may capsize; therefore, they jumped into the river, unfortunately, eight of them drowned and died,” he said.
He said the activities of the Mallams constituted a serious challenge to the Council’s effort to provide basic education to all underage, even as the council was working with the Kaduna state government and other key stakeholders to ameliorate the challenge.
He clarified that they were not banning Quranic education or learning, “but we are trying to make it more effective and decent so that it will be more beneficial to the younger ones’’.
He stressed that there were about 265 schools across the local government area but the major threats were child abuse, child labour and other forms of exploitation of the minor.
“Before now, most pupils in Primary schools including my children were sitting under the tree or on the floor to take lessons.
“In realisation of this poor learning environment, the council embarked on the construction of classrooms and fencing of so many schools across the local government area.
“We have already distributed over 650 chairs to some primary schools in the local government area and we are involving communities in running the schools,” he said.