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272, 847 Children Still Out-Of School In Oyo, CPN Raises The Alarm



… As Stakeholders Call For Implementation Of Child Right Laws

…Marks Day Of The African Child

By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan

The Child Protection Network,(CPN) Oyo State has raised the alarm over the high rate of out- of -school -children to be drawn back to school despite the introduction of tuition- free education at both primary and secondary school levels in the state

At a two -day seminar organized by the CPN, Oyo at the House of Chiefs , Secretariat, Ibadan to celebrate the 2023 Day of The African Child which comes up every June 16, the organization noted that though the state government is doing it’s best as record has shown that about 40,000 were reported to have returned to school between 2019 and 2022 as a result of the the abolition of tuition fee in the schools , not less than 272 , 847 children are still out of school.

Stakeholders at the event which had in attendance representatives of government ministries, agencies, security agencies, professional associations and other relevant stakeholders called for urgent actions on the part of government as well as parents to address the ugly trend.

Representatives of the coalition of civil society organizations at the occasion which has as it’s theme “The Rights Of The African Child In The Digital Environment” also appealed to the Federal government to resucitate the Home grown school feeding programme as part of measures to attract out-of -school children to the classrooms .

In a communique issued at the end of the programme stakeholders suggest the need for constant capacity building for security agencies as well as parents through digital literacy to be able to monitor their children

The communique also among other things, enjoined parents to be observant and closely monitor their childrens activities and behaviors and they should also support them in prayers regarded as essential exercise in upbringing of the child.

In an interview with City mirror news ,the Oyo State Coordinator, Child Protection Network, (CPN) Mrs Oluwatoyin Ogedemgbe, noted that though government has come up with a lot of laws and policies such as the Child Rights Law , Violation Against Persons Prohibition law and many more to protect the rights of the child but implementation of these laws has been the bane of government

The various government agencies should look into implementation of these laws . In CPN we have also advocated that we should have the sex offenders register where you name and shame all those who molest our children because we have received cases of sexual molestation and assault of our children.
If the government does that it would deter those who may want to perpetrate such act.

“Government needs to do more in terms of protecting the children on the issues of security even the school environment .It’s not so much about having teachers who are qualified , but the learning space and the learning environment. sometimes you go into some school premises, you see dilapidated buildings even the environment overgrown with weeds .

“It’s not always about the fact that you have made provision for tuition free education , that is on one side, and it has encouraged a lot of out -of- school- children to return to school, we have the record that now Oyo state has over 200,000 out of school children ,in the last four years, we also have the report towards the end of last year, that over 40,000 children have been returned to school. But how do we retain those children in school?.

“The others who are still on the streets not all of them will want to go to the four walls of the classroom, but the government can up with strategies, curriculum, where we can take education to the streets , those street orchins , those boys under the bridge , we can take education to meet them right where they are . In these area , yes we know the government is trying it still needs to do more, the government can not do it alone, it needs a collaboration with the support of parents, non state actors like the Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s),

“We need to come together to be able to look at these issues A lot of issues have been identified and we are saying we need to chart a cause, we need to come up with solutions, workable, sustainable action plan that will improve the welfare and wellbeing of all our children.

Similarly, a prominent community leader in Ibadan and seasoned educationist, Chief Taye Ayorinde emphasized the need for the government and parents to seriously handle it’s enormous responsibilities towards the Child.

“According to Chief Ayorinde who is the Baale of Ekotedo in Ibadan, education should not only be meant for children, our market men and women need to be educated and taught how to read and write through Adult literacy programmes adding that the National Orientation Agency (NOA) should step up it’s advocacy on it. .

“It’s rather unfortunate that most parents have nothing to do other than to work. They have forgotten their responsibilities to the children. The children have the legal right to be looked after, taught and directed and not to be misdirected or left in the hands of a house girl or house boy. .
“Children this days suffer a lot, the government has a lot of responsibilities when it comes to monitoring how children are being handled. Go to Sabo , Ekotedo, Mokola and see children beggars , it should not be allowed, what the government should do is to pick them up and do what they did in Sokoto state where they are not allowed to rome around the streets. Their people now put them in trailers and bring them to Oyo state because of the liberal mind of our people. It’s high time we stood up and take positive actions. The law that gives you freedom of speech and abode does not give you the freedom to go to another state and be a nuisance there.”he stated

The CPN, Oyo is a consortium of Civil Society Organizations (NGOs,FBOs,and CBOs), relevant government ministries and agencies, security ( police and Civil Defense Corp) , professional associations and other stakeholders working together to promote the rights and well-being of Oyo state children.

It underakes advocacy against child sexual exploitation and assault, female genital mutilation, child labour and trafficking, addiction and substance abuse, sale of children, child prostitution and neglect, out of school children, child marriage, dangers of ICT on children as well as providing legal support for children in conflict with the law among others.