AFRICA, news, TRENDING
Governor Diri laments over 250,000 out-of-school children roaming Bayelsa
The Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri has ordered the state education ministry and other relevant ministries to ensure the application of stringent laws passed by the State House of Assembly to stem the worrisome rise in the number of out-of-school children.
Diri gave the directive during the launch of a national campaign on out-of-school children organised by the Federal Ministry of Education. The governor expressed concern over the data made available on the existence of an estimated 250,000 out-of-school children in the state despite the existence of a law passed by the state lawmakers to curb the trend.
Diri vowed that his administration will do its part to ensure that education is accessible to every child of school age in the state and urged parents and community leaders to encourage their wards to enrol in schools.
He, therefore, charged parents, traditional rulers and community leaders to collaborate with the government to reverse the situation.
He said the state government supports free primary and secondary education in the state with the provision of uniforms and other instructional materials.
Diri commended the Federal Ministry of Education for bringing the campaign to Bayelsa, saying the people of the state and the Niger Delta region will benefit from the initiative.
He said, “A law was passed by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly on this matter in 2018. So, Mr. Minister, Bayelsa State had started addressing the issues long before now. But your coming is key as it has opened our eyes to the level of out-of-school children in our state.
“The issue is mostly about implementation. We have the laws to ensure that our children are educated. This law has to be implemented across all our communities. The Ministries of Information and Education must do all within their powers to ensure that the public is aware of this law and it is implemented.
“It is unbelievable that a law like this was enacted and assented to by a sitting governor yet we have out-of-school children.
“Let me use this opportunity to call on parents to ensure that they take advantage of the provisions of government. There is free primary education. Uniforms and other instructional materials are being provided by government. So, why won’t parents send their children to school?
“As a state, we will continue to prioritize education and have a paradigm shift that will be beyond certificates. We have introduced technical education and by our third anniversary we will commission some of the schools.”
The state education minister, Goodluck Nanah-Opiah, described education as a collective responsibility and called on all stakeholders to join forces to eradicate the menace of out-of-school children in the interest of the country.