Group ask FG to make UBE Act count for Nigerian child
The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) has made a clarion call on the federal government to make the universal free basic education act count for every child in Nigeria, especially, the girl-child.
Pamela Okoroigwe, LEDAP programme manager, said that the right to basic education is a fundamental human right contained in Chapter 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
Hence, the federal government of Nigeria is under obligation to implement the UBE Act for the benefit of every Nigerian child. Besides, they asked the federal government to increase budgetary allocation to the sector.
LEDAP made the charge during the International Day of Education (IDE) celebration. The organisation had, in 2017 obtained a judgment from the Federal High Court affirming that by enacting the UBE Act, the National Assembly has made the right to basic education an enforceable and justiciable right.
Okoroigwe, speaking on this year’s International Day of Education theme, “Changing course, Transforming education”, said the call for the nurturing of fundamental rights of every individual, especially the right to education, with emphasis on the role of education in peace and development, is imperative.
“Notwithstanding this recognition, the actualisation of the right to basic education is bedeviled by issues such as low enrolment of children, particularly, the girl-child, high rate of school dropout, shortage and poor-quality infrastructure in schools, such as classrooms, water, electricity, toilets, and other educational facilities.
“These challenges have been intensified with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, rising insecurity, and school kidnappings. Girls account for 60 percent of Nigeria’s 10 million out-of-school children, mostly, due to barriers such as child marriages, poverty, and discrimination,” she said.
LEDAP is a non-governmental organization of lawyers and Law professionals, engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights, the rule of law, and good governance in Nigeria. It has observer status with the Africa commission on human and peoples’ rights.