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Parents of out-of-school children risk arrest, prosecution from Sept 12 – Obaseki

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State says the government will commence the arrest and prosecution of parents and guardians of out-of-school children from the next academic session, which begins on Monday, September 12, 2022.

The governor equally said his administration has partnered with the state’s judiciary to set up special courts to prosecute perpetrators of sexual and physical abuses against children in schools in the state.

Speaking to journalists in Benin City ahead of the September 12, 2022 resumption of the new school calendar year, he said all machinery has been put in place for the enforcement.

“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.

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“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,” Obaseki said.

He, however, reiterated his administration’s commitment to guaranteeing care, protection, wellbeing of every Edo child as well as infrastructure development in schools across the state.

“I have instructed the ministry of education to demolish all dilapidated buildings in our schools. For schools that are really dilapidated, we will move the students to other schools to enable us to rebuild them.

“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 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,” he added.

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