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Senate proposes sanctions for parents of out-of-school children

The Senate on Wednesday proposed sanctions for parents who have neglected their children and denied them formal education in the country.  This followed a motion…

The Senate on Wednesday proposed sanctions for parents who have neglected their children and denied them formal education in the country. 

This followed a motion on the compelling need to tackle the challenges of out-of-school children in Nigeria, moved by Senator Adebule Idiat Oluranti (Lagos West).

The Senate considered the establishment of mobile courts for enforcement of compulsion in the Universal Basic Education Act.

Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, specifically urged all states of the federation and the FCT, to adopt measures used in Akwa Ibom State when he was governor which prescribed six months’ imprisonment for parents or guardian of schoolage children found on the streets or on the farm, during school hours.

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Contributing to the motion, Senator Ahmed Lawan (APC, Yobe North) said, “Out-of-school children is a social and security problem to us. And they are more than 20 million just from the primary to JSS 3. We may be talking about 30 million children which is a huge population. This is not good for our security.

“We have to deal with the situation because it is inimical to our development. If we do invest properly, we can harness.”

Contributing to the debate on the motion, the Deputy Senate President, Barau Jibrin, expressed worry that if the issue of out-of-school children is not properly addressed, they would end up becoming a threat to national security.

He said, “We have a problem in this country even though the problem is more pronounced in some states than others. Of course, the states of Yobe, Borno, Kano, Katsina and Kaduna, and so many of the states in the northern part of Nigeria are the ones that are really facing this big national calamity. What do we need to do?

“We need to collectively put our efforts together to find a solution to this menace. Therefore, at the individual level, local and state governments, the federal government, high network individuals, cooperate bodies, we all need to come collectively together to make sure we find a solution to this problem.”

Similarly, Senator Adams Oshiomhole (APC, Edo North), urged the appropriate agencies to make public state-by-state, the percentage of out-of-school children for Nigerians to see governors who are putting the lives of other Nigerians in danger.

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