Governor Yahaya Bello said Kogi Education Law 2020 has made it a crime for any child of school age to be found roaming the streets during official school hours in the state.
Bello said this while reiterating his commitment to drastically reduce the number of Out-of-School children in the state said any such pupil will be arrested.
The Governor gave the assurance at the inauguration of the ”National Identification and Enrolment Drive and Campaign on Out-of-School Children”, by the Federal Ministry of Education (FMoE), in Lokoja.
Represented by the state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Wemi Jones, the governor stressed that he had taken education as the number one priority in the thematic areas of focus under his New Direction Administration.
According to him, the government sees education as the only channel through which we can emancipate our people on a sustainable basis.
He reassured of his determination not to spare a kobo to make sure that education was revamped in Kogi.
”This is why the national identification and enrolment drive and campaign on out-of-school children by the Federal Ministry of Education are very paramount to us in the state.
”We have envisioned this ahead of time, and we have taken steps towards ensuring that we do not get caught in the web”, he said.
He noted that from the statistics available, Kogi has the least out-of-school children among the 19 Northern States of Nigeria, due to the particular attention his government had placed on the issue of education in Kogi.
Noting that he had signed the Kogi State Education Law 2020, which had made it to become a crime in Kogi for any child of school age to be found outside the school during the official school hours.
”When such a child is spotted he/she will be arrested until the parents of that child come forth to explain why the child is not in school.
”Presently, Kogi is running 20 per cent budgetary allocation to education, and by 2022 we shall be running allocation of 30 per cent to education which is above the 26 per cent recommended by UNESCO”, he said.
Thereafter, he thanked the FMoE for the laudable initiative, assuring that the state would continue to partner with them by giving the necessary support in ensuring that education is completely transformed in the state.