Nasir El-rufai, the governor of Kaduna State, has declared 12-year free and compulsory education for children in the state.
The governor made the declaration on Monday when he visited the 218 Almajiri children repatriated from Nassarawa State and undergoing rehabilitation and optical screening at Government College, Kurmin Mashi, Kaduna.
The governor expressed satisfaction at the way the children where taken care of and warned that the state will no longer tolerate parents and guardians enrolling their wards in Almajiri system to be taught Islamic knowledge under Islamic Clerics, but who loiter on the streets with bowls begging for alms and food.
He said defaulters risk prosecution and two years jail term as his administration will do all it can to transform the hopeless status of the Almajiri children to a better future.
“We will, therefore, continue to take delivery of every Almajiri pupil indigenous to Kaduna state for rehabilitation, treatment and enrollment into formal school nearest to where their parents live,” the governor said.
“We will continue to do this until we clear Kaduna state of the menace of Almajiri system, which is not education but the abuse of the privilege and future of a child.
“Our ultimate goal is for them to acquire formal education without depriving them of the opportunity to acquire Quranic education.
“They will continue their Quranic education but under the care of their parents and not under someone who does not know them or paid to look after them.
“Those that cannot proceed to senior secondary school will have the opportunity to go to vocational school, also free.
“As such, no parent has any excuse for his child not to go to school,” Mr El-rufai added.