CEM REPORT | Following through with its promise to prosecute parents and guardians of out-of-school children the Edo State Ministry of Education has commenced monitoring several schools and locations across the state as students resumed academic activities for the 2022/2023 academic session.
The ministry has earmarked streets amongst other locations as monitoring areas in compliance with the directive of the State Governor – Godwin Obaseki for the arrest and prosecution of parents and guardians of out-of-school children in the state.
According to the Commissioner for Education in the state, Joan Osa-Oviawe, under the ‘It’s School O’clock’ programme, teachers will also be monitored to ensure they resume class immediately.
She disclosed this while addressing journalists in Benin City.
“Governor has said already that any child, starting from today, caught loitering during school hours is going to be arrested.
“As I speak to you, across the 18 local government areas, we have field officers already enforcing this. Anybody we catch now, we’re going to take them home and are going to arrest the parents and guardians and they will sign off.
So, clearly, the government is doing its bit and the teachers are doing theirs. It is now left for parents to do their part and when parents don’t want to do it willingly, we will now have to force them.”
“I use the word force because there is a Child Right Law and since 2018, we have been advocating that teaching and learning begins on the first day of resumption. Parents should let their children come to school.”
Additional, the commissioner however expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance of schools inspected especially on the conduciveness of the learning environment.
“I’m very happy with what I’m seeing in terms of the cleanliness and orderliness in our schools, particularly our secondary schools. Our teachers are in school, our executive principals have taken charge; they’re doing a lot of things using their initiatives to make the schools habitable and they are even bringing issues of erosion to our notice in the ministry.
“His Excellency has given a mandate to the ministry that we have to work with the various boards to ensure a total clean-up of all our schools which include removing weeds, demolishing dilapidated buildings and having a proper waste management system in all our schools.”
She further appraised the Obaseki-led administration for its political will to revamp the state’s education system.
“For the first time in history, all our secondary school teachers have been trained, all our executive principals trained; all our TVET teachers were trained along with their principals. In basic education also, the upper basic teachers and principals were also trained and in that process, over 5000 people have been trained within the last 2-3 weeks.”
Recall that CEM earlier reported that Governor Godwin Obaseki directed the prosecution of parents and guardians of out-of-school children from September 12.
The governor also established special courts for the trial of such cases. Read full report here.