By Acheme Jack, Kano
The Kano State government has vowed to arrest and prosecute parents who fail to send their children to school.
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje issued the warning in a bid to curb the menace of streets begging in Kano.
He stated this during an interactive session with Unicef, HLUWA Youth Advocacy group in Government House, Kano where he signed a commitment document with the youths, to drastically reduce the over 3 million out school children menace in the state.
Governor Ganduje said his administration and the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II have concluded plans to send a bill to the state House of Assembly to that effect.
“The bill will ensure that primary and secondary education will be free and compulsory for all school age children in the state. With the bill signed into law, parents who refused to take their children to go to school will be taken to court.
“Children begging on the street instead of going to school will be arrested including their parents and charge to court for prosecution, because begging is not our religion. Begging is not Islam,”he said.
Governor Ganduje urged the Unicef Advocacy Ambassadors to join government in the crusade.
“If we start and receive undue criticism, I urge you to demonstrate in our favour because that is the only way we can get a change. Otherwise, all what we are doing will remain theoretical.
“We want our population to be a quality population. There are some countries in the world that don’t have a drop of oil, but yet their economy is strong. The main reason is education, even development and technology.”
The leader of the group, Mr Bala Umar said, “UNICEF recognises the efforts of Kano state government in addressing the situation of out-of-school children with the implementation of various programmes to improve children’s access to quality education, we commend Kano state government under your leadership.”
The request by the Unicef advocacy group to the Kano state government as contained in the signed document includes: need to increase education budgetary allocation to 10 percent and 50 percent of such should be allocated to basic education, allocation of special funds to monitor schools, all girls based school where necessary, recruitment with priority towards female teachers, need assessment and allocation of teachers to such areas, support evidence based system as well as plan and implementation of educational strategies.
The Chairperson of HLUWA, Ladidi Sani said the Unicef voluntary advocacy group is spread across 14 endemic states in northern Nigeria where there are over 10 million out of school children to help solve the challenges.
“We do this by soliciting for subsidy, free education and empowerment to give quality education to the youths. The results of our intervention in Kano state will be highlighted during the first 100 days of the governor’s second term in the office,”Sani said.