The Edo State government is set to commence the arrest and prosecution of parents and guardians of out-of-school children from the next academic session.
Governor Godwin Obaseki stated while addressing journalists yesterday in Benin City ahead of the resumption of schools on Monday, September 12, 2022
He said a special squad there will be a special squad to monitor the situation in the entire state.
The governor said parents of under-18 children hawking or used for manual labour would be arrested and prosecuted.
Besides, he said the government, in partnership with the state’s judiciary, had set up special courts to prosecute perpetrators of sexual and physical abuses against children in schools in the state.
“If we find any child under the age of 18 years being used for manual labour, such parents will be prosecuted. We thank the Chief Judge for providing special courts, which will be used to prosecute any offender, who perpetrates violence against any child or involves in sexual defilement or physical abuse in our school system.
“From September 12, when school resumes, any child found loitering or hawking during school hours will be arrested and the parents or guardians will be prosecuted and seriously dealt with. We have specially trained people to observe and watch over our children to ensure no child is abused in Edo State.
“School resumes on Monday, September 12, 2022 and teaching must commence the same day. I will send out a special squad to monitor schools across the state. I will also monitor the schools myself, alongside with the commissioner of education,” the governor added.
On infrastructure in schools, the governor said he had instructed the ministry of education to demolish all the dilapidated buildings in the schools.
“For those schools really dilapidated we will move the students to other schools and rebuild the schools.
“We will emphasise the environment our children learn as we need to secure the environment where our children learn. We will be spending a lot of resources to ensure no child seats on the ground to learn. By the time the commissioner of education will be completing her term, no Edo child should sit on the ground to learn,” he added.