“Now that I have gotten opportunity to acquire western education, I would want to be an educated businessman when I grow up,” these are the words of a 16-yr-old Almajiri, Mustapha Abubakar, a student of a school for Almajiri established by Humanity for All foundation.
Abubakar is one of the beneficiaries of the foundation’s free education gesture to Almajiri pupils in Kano state.
Interestingly, when this reporter asked Abubakar to choose a language that he wanted to speak with, he said he was prepared to speak in English.
Abubakar assured that after graduation, he would continue with his studies in order to achieve his dream of becoming an educated businessman.
He said he was brought to Kano from Jigawa state to study the Qur’an and that he had already memorised 34 Hizifs of the Holy book, while at the same time studying western education under the sponsorship of the foundation.
Another student of the foundation from Katsina state, Umar Audu, 9, told Kano Chronicle that, he had always wanted to study western education but due to his parent’s economic status he could not realize his wish until after he was brought to Kano for Qur’anic studies.
Little Audu explained that when his Qur’anic teacher told him that he would be going to western school, he felt fulfilled.
“I always look back with nostalgic feelings that, finally I am enrolled in western school while at the same time my Qur’anic studies continue without any hindrance. My dream is to become a medical doctor. I will stick to my educational pursuit until I achieve my ambition,” Umar said.
The Humanity for All foundation is a non-governmental organisation established by two individuals Muhsin Mufti and Alaa Fadlallah.
The duo decided to pull together their little resources to establish the school for Almajiri at Yankaba quarters in Nassarawa local #government of the state with a view to educating Almajiri.
Speaking to Kano Chronicle, Fadlallah said the sorry sight of innocent children that deserve parental care but were sent out at tender age as Almajiri was what moved her to begin nurturing the idea of assisting them so that they could become useful and productive to themselves in particular and the society as a whole.
“Having been born in Kano, I have seen how poverty is affecting the lives of less privileged. I have seen the importance of education and how it can help you to realize your dreams. This is what actually informed the decision behind this free school for the Almajiri pupils. Immediately I completed my masters studies in UK, we started this foundation which we are funding from our personal earnings.
“We do not get any form of external funding from individuals or organizations for running the school at the moment. Presently, we have over 20 students.”
“I always felt bad seeing these children looking worthless than other children and I believe that any child has right to live as a child. To be honest with you, I did not grow up this way and seeing a child growing in such way makes me ask why?” she said.
Kano Chronicle observed that a special study time table was designed for these children in such a way that their Qur’anic study will not be tempered with by the curriculum of western education.
“They come here in the morning from Monday to Wednesday for Maths and English subjects while extra activities such as science and civic education hold on Thursdays and Fridays respectively. They also do arts and craft,” she said.
She added that the pupils are being provided with lunch every day in order to discourage them from going back to the streets to beg for food.
The co-founder of the foundation, Muhsin Mufti stated that the school was established about a year ago with 26 pupils, who were sourced from the Qur’anic schools situated across Yankaba quarters.
Mufti added that the foundation would increase the school enrolment to 55 students before the end of this month.
He said the foundation was taking care of the teacher’s salaries and the bill of the rented apartment that was converted into the school in addition to uniforms and other teaching and learning materials that are being provided to the students to make their leaning processes effective and successful.
He also revealed that, if government could support the foundation, it would establish additional school in a rural community in the state in order to accommodate more vulnerable children in its programme.
The co-founder said the foundation had a plan of sponsoring the education of its pupils to secondary school level after completion of primary education.
“In the event we cannot achieve this, we will partner with government to accommodate these children in public secondary schools.”
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