Minister Charges  Bayelsa Lawmakers To Give Compulsory Education Bill Accelerated Hearing

Minister Charges  Bayelsa Lawmakers To Give Compulsory Education Bill Accelerated Hearing

By Chika Mefor-Nwachukwu

Minister of State for Education, Hon. Goodluck Nana Opiah has appealed to Bayelsa Lawmakers to give the compulsory education bill accelerated passage to help tackle the out-of-school children menace in the State.

A press release signed by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Bem Goong stated that the Minister made the appeal on Tuesday at the Flag-off ceremony of the National Campaign on Out-of-school children in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

The bill, which is awaiting passage seeks to make it compulsory for every parent and guardian to send their children to school in order to rid Bayelsa state of out of school children and school dropouts.

Under the bill, parents of children of school age between 6-18 years who are out of school will be arrested and prosecuted.

The minister stated that 60 percent of out-of-school children in Bayelsa State are girls .

He added that the Federal government through the instrumentality of the Universal Basic Education (UBEC) is doing everything humanly possible to assist the states to strengthen basic education by confronting factors that deny our children early education, including extreme poverty, ignorance and access to education among others.

The sensitization, the Minister said is designed to ensure massive enrolment of children in basic and primary schools and should be taken seriously by all stakeholders, adding that it is a moral and legal obligation adding that it will help guarantee the future of the children and by necessary implication, the Nation.

 Opiah commended successive administrations in Bayelsa State for the special attention accorded education, including the declaration of the state of emergency in the education sector in the state, the introduction of a free education policy at primary and secondary levels and the inauguration of the enrollment drive committee, all of which have led to a huge enrollment in schools in the state.

In his key note address to the ocassion, the Executive Governor of Bayelsa state,His Excellency,Senator Douye Diri said education remains the first, second and third priorities of his administration even as he announced that there are two hundred and fifty thousand children out of school in Bayelsa particularly in the ruler areas.

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Bayelsa StateEducation BillNana Opiah

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