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The Edo State Government has said it will arrest and prosecute parents and guardians, who violate the Child Rights Law, especially those who deny their children and wards access to education.

Acting Chairman of the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and Special Adviser to the Governor on Basic Education, Dr. Joan Osa Oviawe, disclosed this during an inspection tour of schools in Benin metropolis on the first day of the academic session.

Edo State in 2007 domesticated the Child Rights Act and Governor Godwin Obaseki, in 2017, inaugurated the Family Court to try cases pertaining to violation of the Child Rights Law.

Dr. Oviawe said, “The government will continue to promote a knowledge-based economy to drive economic growth and development. This cannot be achieved without solid basic education.”

She frowned at the low turnout of pupils in the schools visited, stressing that the practice where pupils fail to resume on the first week of resumption is not the best.

Dr. Oviawe noted, “The state government will soon clampdown on parents or guardians who prevent their wards from attending schools but prefer that they be engaged as house assistants or hawkers.”

She assured that the state will continue to provide facilities to give children quality education, adding, “pupils must be in school to enjoy facilities provided by government. Lack of infrastructure is the least challenge in schools in Edo State. The main challenge for us is that of truancy in the first week of resumption.

Dr. Oviawe said SUBEB will work with education secretaries to train headmasters/mistresses on effective school management and community engagement.

She warned that the state government will not tolerate lateness and absenteeism among teachers and headmasters/mistresses, adding that “Existing laws and rules will be appropriately applied to sanction those found wanting.”

At Emokpae Primary School, the headmistress, Mrs. Grace Idubor complained that pupils resume late because they are engaged as salespersons in stores along Mission Road.

After inspecting stores at Mission Road to ascertain the veracity of the claim, Oviawe condemned the act and encouraged parents to allow their wards attend school, noting that classes have commenced.

Other schools visited include Ivbiotor Primary School, Asologun Primary School, Etete Primary School, Emokpae Primary School, Olua Primary School, Aghahowa Primary School and Iheya Primary School.

 

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