Literacy and Numeracy for Almajiri and Street Children

Recent government statistics show that there are about 10.5 million out-of-school children in Nigeria, out of which 9 million are almajiri children in the Northern (predominantly Muslim) part of the country (http://nationalmirroronline.net/new/9m-of-out-of-school-children-are-almajiris-minister/). The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reports that one out of every five Nigerian children is out of school, this report underscores the need to take steps to reverse this trend of educational inequality in Nigeria.

DIWA has been working with Aisha Lemu Learning Initiative (ALLI) which is managed by staff of New Horizons College and New Horizons Nursery and Primary School; both owned by the Islamic Education Trust to educate these children by providing cost-free learning opportunities to almajiri children, as well as children from economically disadvantaged homes. It is believed that these two categories of children constitute the out-of-school children in Nigeria.

The selected 40 students comprising a mix of almajiri children and children from underprivileged homes has been benefiting from this cost-free learning opportunity. They attend free weekend classes in literacy, numeracy and basic computer literacy for 39 weeks each year where they are also served breakfast after each lesson. DIWA hopes to expand this program in coming years to cover more Almajiris and Street Children in Notthern Nigeria.