The governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has announced that the government will begin detaining and prosecuting parents and guardians of unenrolled children as of the start of the subsequent academic year on September 12, 2022.

Prior to the start of the new school year, the governor told reporters in Benin that enforcement equipment had been put in place.

He claimed that the state’s judiciary and the government had worked together to establish special courts for the purpose of prosecuting those responsible for sexual and physical abuse of children in the state’s schools.

He reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to guaranteeing the care, protection and wellbeing of every citizen in the state.

Obaseki noted: “If we find any child under the age of 18 years being used for manual labour, such parents will be prosecuted. We thank the Chief Judge for providing special courts which will be used to prosecute any offender who perpetrates violence against any child or involves in sexual defilement or physical abuse in our school system.

“From September 12, when school resumes, any child found loitering or hawking during school hours will be arrested and the parents or guardians will be prosecuted and seriously dealt with. We have specially trained people to observe and watch over our children to ensure no child is abused in Edo State.

“School resumes on Monday, September 12, 2022 and teaching must commence the same day. I will send out a special squad to monitor schools across the state; I will also monitor the schools myself, alongside with the Commissioner of Education”

Obaseki also said that his administration would work towards the building of dilapidated schools in the state, stressing conducive learning environment for learners.

“We will emphasize the environment our children learn as we need to secure the environment where our children learn. We will be spending a lot of resources to ensure no child seats on the ground to learn. By the time the Commissioner of Education will be completing her term, no Edo child should sit on the ground to learn”, he added.

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