I recently learned a new word. We already were familiar with “madrassa,” which is an Islamic school. An “Almajiri” is also an Islamic school. The word comes from Nigeria and specifically refers to a boarding school. Almajiris are in the news because the Nigerian military recently raided a number of schools.
This has been building up for months. President Buhari spoke against the Almajirai in speeches in June and July. There was a fanfare that quickly faltered in August, about some reforms in government schools.
But for a month now, Nigeria has been rocked by raids on private schools, almajirai, and the exposure led to additional raids, with some school owners, headmasters and teachers arrested, and other owners, headmasters and teachers on the run. It turned out that stolen children were being hidden in several almajirai, kept as slaves in shackles, and, in some cases, subjected to rape in addition to beatings.