Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to show how Nigeria’s current Universal Basic Education on primary schooling targets Muslim Almajiri street boys for basic literacy acquisition. The paper examines the policy’s management implementation practices and challenges, as well as provides policy options that may minimize discrepancies for effective management. Design/methodology/approach – The discussion is guided by preliminary qualitative studies using phenomenology research philosophy to better understand the social realities of the boys’ schooling. Using a descriptive case study approach, two schools in a major city of northern Nigeria served as research sites. Data collection process involved informal interviews, active observations, and discussions with a purpose with four boys, and two teachers as primary participants. Data analysis engaged the generation of themes from the transcribed interview and personal observation field notes, with major ones as challenges and policy options of the program implementation. Findings – Major findings include the boys’ adoption to the free lunch feeding policy as motivation to partial school attendance. Management shortcomings of the synergy include ineffective communication and collaboration, poor instructional supervision and cultural insensitivity to boys’ school retention. Remedies to the shortcomings are reviewed as policy options in the article. Research implications – The paper concludes that effective management strategies as communication and collaboration with community stakeholders, frequencies of instructional supervision are vital to schooling inclusion of the boys in primary schools. The article provides workable data for future modification of the policy. Originality/value of paper – So far, no program assessment on this schooling synergy has been investigated. This article attempts to bridge the gap between ground level realities and policy implementation methodologies of the government on the schooling of Almajiris.