Nigeria to begin criminality policy on school enrolment

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja 

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Nigeria is set to commence its criminality policy on Parents who refuses to enrol children of School Age in schools across the country.

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu made this known in Abuja while addressing journalists during the 9th edition of the Weekend Ministerial briefing.

The Minister said the government will soon effect the policy which criminalises such acts by parents who sabotages efforts of the Nigerian government at reducing the numbers of out Of School children in the Country.

When asked on full utilisation of Infrastructure already made available by the government to accommodate new pupils into Basic Education, Adamu said: “The policy is already on ground to criminalises parents who refuses to take children of school Age to school.

So the ministry is to effect this policy so that any parent whose child of school age refuses to take them to school will be jailed.”

Speaking on matching grant and other intervention funds for basic education in Nigeria, the Minister said a total sum of N350b has been expended on the sub sector as against the sum of N360b spent in previous administration.

“In the six years preceding the Buhari Administration, between 2009 and 2014, the Federal Government expended about three hundred and sixty billion naira (N360,000,000) worth of intervention on Basic Education covering textbooks, teacher professional development, construction of classrooms and library resources among others”

The Minister also mentioned that in 2015, matching and non-conditional grants disbursements to 15 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory amounted to N68.4B.

He added that in 2016, grants disbursements to 29 states and the FCT was about N77 billion.

According to him, “In 2017 the Federal Government provided a total of N95B to 24 states and the FCT, and another N109B to 20 states and the FCT. The disbursements over the four-year period totalling N350B include, Matching grants, Educational imbalance fund, Special Educational fund, Good Performance fund, Instructional Materials funds, Teacher Professional Development fund, as well as UBEC Implementation and Monitoring funds across geopolitical zones as attached”

“During the 4-year period under review, the government of President Buhari provided a total grant of Three Hundred and Fifty billion naira (N350 billion) to fund Basic Education in the country,” he added.

 Adamu emphasized that corruption and lack of political will from State governments is among other reasons responsible for collapse of basic education across the States.

“Having come to this painful conclusion, the federal government decided to deduct from source, part of the last tranche of the Paris Club refund from all the states that have not been able to access their monies from UBEC.  

“If this attitude of deliberate refusal on the part of states to provide counterpart funding for basic education continues, then the federal government will have no choice than to sustain its strategy of deducting counterpart funding of states percentage from source,” he added.

The Minister of education also disclosed that stakeholders are awaiting the decision of the Federal Executive Council on reduction of matching grants for state governments.

“We already submitted proposal on the reduction of matching grants and we believe between 10 percent and 20 percent the matching grant will be reduced to as against the 50 percent States have been claiming is difficult to provide.”