Nigeria: Runjin Dutse - Fulani Settlement Bent On Fighting Illiteracy

7 December 2019

Sokoto — Runjin Dutse in Sanyinawal District is one of the oldest fulani settlements in Shagari Local Government Area of Sokoto State. This rustic community was recently in the news after natives pooled resources together to construct two mud classrooms for their wards. The story went viral on social media.

Daily Trust learnt that before the recent effort, their children were taking lessons under tree shades.

It was also learnt that their previous efforts to draw the attention of the authorities to their plight proved abortive, hence, the members of the community decided to take the bull by the horns, in order to free their wards from the shackles of illiteracy and ignorance.


A native of the area, Abubakar Gidado, recalled the genesis of the idea, saying it all started when elders of the community came together and brainstormed on the plight of their ever-increasing out-of-school children.

"It was at that forum that we decided to approach our local government authority for approval to have our own primary school, which was not only granted, but was followed by the immediate deployment of three teachers to the area," he said.

Gidado said the village head had, out of his magnanimity, converted the veranda of his house to a classroom for the take off of the school, as there was no hope of getting support in terms of provision of ultramodern classrooms from either the local or the state governments.

"We made a lot of efforts to get their intervention through our political and community leaders, but to no avail. This was why the village head mobilized us to construct these two classes for our children who were hitherto receiving lessons at the veranda of his house and later under the trees."

Gidado, who is the chairman of the School's Based Management Committee (SBMC), added that they got support from all and sundry, including their neighbours as the school would be the first to be constructed around that area.

Corroborating this, the village head, Malam Zarumai Runjin Dutsi, averred that they were moved by the importance of education to human development, to make the effort.

"We see how education is transforming lives in other places and as such, resolved to help our children get educated.

"This is why I summoned a community meeting where we had fruitful deliberations that eventually led to this stage.

"We first of all got approval from the local government authority, which also deployed three teachers, but, there was no structure on ground for the formal take off of the school, so I dedicated my veranda for the commencement of lessons and as the enrolment of pupils became massive, the place became overstretched to the extent that majority of the pupils were forced to take lessons under the trees. This was why we decided to pool resources together to build these two mud classrooms," he said.

He thanked the Hausa communities in the area for their invaluable support, which he said, was in appreciation of the existing harmonious relationship between the fulanis and the Hausa people in the area.

He also called on the state government to augment their efforts with the provision of a standard primary school and the deployment of additional teachers, as well as teaching and learning materials as done to other communities.

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