Kano State government says it has evacuated 524 Almajiri children to neighbouring Jigawa State, their state of origin.
The state on Tuesday also moved 419 Almajiri children to Katsina State while it plans to move others to their various states in subsequent days.
Malam Muhammad Sanusi-Kiru, the state’s Commissioner for Education who is also the Chairman of the evacuation committee, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Kano.
He said that the evacuation of the children was to ensure total compliance with social distancing order of the state government to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“The initiative was in good faith, aimed at combating coronavirus and to fast-track integration of Almajiri children into formal school system.
“We evacuated 419 Almajiri children to Katsina State on Tuesday and we are making arrangement to evacuate 195 to Kaduna State by Thursday.
“As i am talking to you now, we are heading to Jigawa in convoy with adequate security, together with the children to hand them over to the state government.
“Before the evacuation, we provided personnel that checked the health of those children to ensure that they are all in healthy condition before we hand them over to their respective states of origin.
“Where these children were living before the evacuation was worrisome, because there were no adequate conveniences, shelter and other hygienic facilities.
“At some of the Tsangaya schools, you will find out that over 3,000 almajiri children live in a small apartment without proper care, hygiene and other necessary needs,” he said.
According to Sanusi-Kiru, no serious government can tolerate such arrangement.
“That was why Governor Abdullahi Ganduje directed the ministry to come up with a new reform in form of evaluating them to their states of origin,” he said.
He added that the reform on formal and non-formal education would ensure that the Tsangaya schools would be less in number and more effective.
“Some of the heads of those Tsangaya schools, voluntarily handed over the children to the committee for evacuation,” he said.