With effect from Monday, September 12, 2022, when schools would resume in Edo State, the government would begin to clamp down on out-of-school children and their parents. Such students would not only be arrested, their parents would also be arrested, prosecuted, and dealt with. That is not the only measure that the state government is taking to further improve on education there. It has also set up special courts to prosecute perpetrators of sexual and physical abuses against children in schools in the state. Also, all dilapidated school buildings are to be demolished and rebuilt, and all schools adequately furnished such that no child will have to sit on the floor to learn.
Announcing these measures in an interview with journalists ahead of the start of a new school calendar year next Monday, Governor Godwin Obaseki said all machinery had been put in place to enforce them, stressing that his administration was committed to guaranteeing the care, protection, and well-being of every Edo child.
According to him, “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 schools resume, 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”.
On infrastructure development in schools across the state, Governor Obaseki said “I have instructed the Ministry of Education to demolish all dilapidated buildings in our 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. Commencing from September 12 when the new school calendar will start, I have also directed the ministry of education to set up a clean-up system to clean all Edo Schools.”