Literacy programme launched for street children in Nigeria

Without formal education, Nigeria's street children, locally known as Almajiri, are feared to become vulnerable to recruitments for groups like Boko Haram.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Children displaced as a result of Boko Haram attacks in the northeast region of Nigeria, in class at Maikohi secondary school inside a camp for internally displaced persons in Yola, Adamawa State, January 13, 2015.

Updated Mar 13, 2017

More and more makeshift schools are opening up in Nigeria’s capital Yola to teach Quran recitation to street children, locally known as "Almajiri."

But these schools at street corners or other makeshift places are not regulated by the government and are feared to become a source of recruitment for terrorist groups like Boko Haram.

Boko Haram has killed around 15,000 people and forced more than 2 million from their homes during the past seven years in northeastern Nigeria.

Dauda Bello, an Islamic scholar says at such schools the street children only learn how to recite a Quranic verse without knowing its meaning.

“When they grow up without going to school, they feel like following whoever recites a verse to them,” Bello said.

These children with no formal education survive entirely on charity donations.

But things have started to change for such kids following the launch of a literacy programme run by the American University of Nigeria.

TRT World ’s Fidelis Mbah brings more from Yola.