It’s criminal to keep children out of school – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to state governors to ensure the enforcement of compulsory basic education in their various states.

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This was even as he said it is criminal for parents to keep their children out of school; especially in the first nine years of basic education.

He made the call when he inaugurated the 2019-2023 National Economic Council (NEC) at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, in Abuja, yesterday.

President Buhari urged the state governors to ensure enforcement of compulsory basic education in their various states. He also told them to pay great attention to security, health, education and agriculture so as to guarantee a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.

“On education, I want to stress in particular the need to take very seriously and enforce very rigorously the statutory provisions on free and compulsory basic education. Section 18 (3) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, places on all of us an obligation to eradicate illiteracy and provide free and compulsory education.

“Section 2 of the Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act provides that every government in Nigeria shall provide free, compulsory and universal basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age.

“It is, indeed, a crime for any parent to keep his child out of school for this period.

“In my view, when a government fails to provide schools, teachers and teaching materials necessary for basic education, it is actually aiding and abetting that crime.

“This is, therefore, a call to action. I would like to see every governor rise from this meeting and rally his local government chairmen towards ensuring that our schools offer the right opportunities and provide the needed materials and teachers for basic education, at the minimum.

“If we are able to do this, the benefits would surely manifest themselves.

“Ensuring proper education during the first nine years of schooling means that our children start off their lives with some discipline and education.

“They will be safeguarded from roaming the streets, and protected from all the evil influences that assail idle hands and idle minds.

“Whatever they choose to do, thereafter, children with basic education will be better prepared to learn and to appreciate their own role in society.

“This will also go a long way in solving our security and other anti-social problems, which are often the manifestations of early delinquency.

“I, therefore, think every governor here should make a firm commitment to be personally involved in ensuring that every child of school age actually goes to school, throughout the crucial nine years of basic education.”

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