The Ekiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has warned parents who keep their school-age children out of school that they risk being prosecuted, stressing that the state’s Child’s Right law provides that all children must be given access to education.
The state government had last week commenced a school enrolment drive aimed at ensuring that all school-age children register for the forthcoming 2019/2020 academic session.
Fayemi, at a sensitisation programme in Eporo, Emure Ekiti yesterday, called on all parents and guardians to key into the free education programme of his administration.
He noted that education was not only free in Ekiti State, it was compulsory and, so, it would be an abuse of the Child’s Right law for any parent or guardian to deny school-age children the opportunity to go to school.
“If your child is not in school when the school is in session, you have a lot to explain because we will apprehend the child, whether he/she is found hawking on the street or engaging in any illicit activities.
“The parents will have to explain to the government or the relevant institutions why that child is not in school. In order to ensure that we implement that law, we have a family court in the state that takes responsibility for children that are not in school and parents who fail their responsibility”, he said.
Fayemi stated his administration was opposed to the collection of fees in all public primary and secondary schools in the state, stressing that any teacher caught collecting school fees from pupils would be seen as collecting a bribe.
“Enrolment figure in the state used to be the highest in the country up till 2014, and then we suffered a decrease in enrolment, according to UBEC national figures. We have a duty as a government to ensure that we get the figure back to where it used to be in order to build the foundation that is solid for our children,” he said.
The Southwest Zonal Director of the Universal Basic Education Commission, Mrs Mudubi Roseline, called on political and religious leaders to sensitize the people on the importance of enrolling their school-age children this session.