United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called on Kano state government to domesticate Nigeria Child Rights Act in order to provide the framework for child protection.
UNICEF country Representative, Peter Hawkins made the call during a webinar, organized by the organization in partnership with Kano State Government and Almajiri Child Rights Initiative (ACRI) to discuss the Alternate pathways and future of Almajiri children in the state.
Hawkins called on traditional leaders, communities and parents to consider children as their focus of attention and place them as priority in all they do.
According to him, “Government should also look at domesticating the Child Rights Act in Kano. Kano has not yet domesticated the Child Rights Act.
“We need to enhance the social protection element, increase livelihood, identify and reintegrate these children with their families” Hawkins said.
Speaking on Girl-Child Education, the UNICEF Representative emphasized that the issue of girls’ education is critical hence result oriented alternative ways must be deployed to ensure that girls are not left behind.
“With the COVID-19 lockdown, this is a period to skill up the teachers, bring the girls and boys back to school and give them access to education. It’s about the ability to value what they will learn.”
On his part, the Governor of Kano state, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje said the state has plans to carry out a census to build data of Almajiri children in the state and create a sustainable programme for the children.
According to the “We found out we have three categories of Almajiris in Kano – those that belong to Kano state, those from other states and those that don’t know where they come from. These children have a right to be educated, protected and a right to be with their parents. We are trying to create a sustainable program, so even when we leave office the program will still be sustained.”
The Governor said Kano State new policy on Education is presently addressing the challenges of the girl child.
Pertaining to financing of the plans on Education, the governor said, “apart from the normal budgets for education in Kano, we also created an education trust-fund.”
Also speaking, the Chief Imam Al furqan Mosque Kano, Dr Bashir Aliyu Umar, called for more emphasis on solving the economic challenges of the Almajiri learning centres .
Dr Aliyu Umar urged the Kano State governor to institute a regulatory system that will authenticate standards.
According to him, “the Quranic Education system cannot exist without the endowment system, I want to urge the governor to set up a regulatory system to ensure that standards are maintained.
“Emphasis should be given to solving the economic challenges of the Almajiri schools rather than integration. Because of the economic challenges, the children do not get what they should from the Almajiri schools” he added.
The Child Rights Act defines the rights of a child, parents, communities and government in fulfilling the rights of a child.
Recall that Nigeria in 2003, passed the Child Rights Act but so far only 25 states have domesticated the law while 11 states are yet to do so.