Journeys to school - UNESCO

JOURNEYS TO  SCHOOL - KUUMIN JEJI, NIGERIA

JOURNEYS TO SCHOOL - KUUMIN JEJI, NIGERIA

Hardo Isa is a public Nomadic primary school for Fulani children, in the village of Kulumin Jeji, in Bauchi State, Nigeria. Fulani are nomadic pastoralists that move around Nigeria and neighboring countries to find water and food for their cows. The families face many challenges in sending their children to school. Most Fulani are illiterate but they and the government are increasingly realizing the importance of education. Staff shortages and language are challenges facing Hardo Isa Nomadic School. With merely one teacher and a headmaster for 178 boys, and 122 girls. They are all taught in one classroom with grades 1-6 mixed together. It is the only nomadic school for Fulani amongst a community of about 9,000 people. Both teachers are from the Hausa tribe in Northern Nigeria and therefore teach the children English in their Hausa dialect, the Fulani’s second language. Many enrolled students only attend school once a week as the journey can be a 5km walk on foot. This long journey, numerous household chores, and cattle herding makes school a low priority The Fulani are 99% Islamic, which can also be an obstacle in their children receiving an education, due to the fear that they will be Christianized. Corruption and mismanagement in government discourages engagement in education. Hardo Isa currently has half of the roof missing, there are no desks or chairs and the children sit on the dirt floor. The staff has appealed to the government for assistance on many occasions but has not received this. Therefore during rainy season, which is six months out of the year, the school shuts down. I photographed Sa’ade Adamu and Yakubu Adamu, two children of Adamu Lakah who has lived in the area for 37 years. He has two wives and 14 children plus grandchildren. Ten of the children are currently living on their compound and four of his boys are moving around the country with their cattle. It is a considerable sacrifice for him to send two of his children to school as Fulani place the highest value on their cattle and a child in school means they will not learn the techniques of cattle herding. Adamu Lakah sends two children to school because he feels it is important for Fulani to receive education. He believes that if the children are educated one day they can get positions in government and advocate for the Fulani people. Currently government does not place Fulani peoples needs as a high priority so they struggle every day to retain their nomadic lifestyle and receive education. UPDATE: Since the completion of this the story the local government have finally responded to the school and communities request and are currently building a new school that the children will be able to attend rain or shine!

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JOURNEYS TO  SCHOOL - KUUMIN JEJI, NIGERIA
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