Virus spurs crackdown on controversial Nigeria Koran schoolsNigeria — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News

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Many street children in the northern Nigerian city of Kano are enrolled in informal Islamic schools which force youngsters to beg, say critics (AFP Photo/AMINU ABUBAKAR)

Two dozen boys read verses of the Koran aloud on the dilapidated veranda of one of the thousands of informal Islamic schools studying northern Nigeria’s biggest city Kano.

To some in this conservative region, the centuries-old system — known as almajiri locally — is an invaluable bastion of tradition and religious learning.

But critics have long condemned the institutions for squalid conditions, forcing children to beg and denying them a proper education.

Now the spread of coronavirus has sparked renewed efforts from the authorities to close down the schools and send the pupils home to their families.

Governors of 19 states across northern Nigeria in May announced a ban on the informal Islamic centres over fears they would become hubs for spreading the disease.

“We are prohibiting that system. We want…



Source: Guardian Newspaper