The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with Bayelsa State Universal Basic Education Board (Bayelsa SUBEB) would on Monday, 21st January flag-off a campaign in the state to encourage out-of-school children enrol for basic education.
The Executive Secretary of Bayelsa SUBEB, Walton Liverpool, in a statement on Wednesday, said the campaign is in line with the federal government’s national policy towards improving access to basic education delivery in Nigeria.
Mr Liverpool added that the campaign, which is also sponsored by the state ministry of education, is targeted at reducing the number of out-of-school children in Bayelsa state, which most times is due to societal ills as well as teenage pregnancy.
EduCeleb.com reports that Bayelsa has a 50% rate of child pregnancy leading to many abandoning school afterwards.
The SUBEB boss said the campaign will create awareness and advocacy to children, parents, community leaders on the need for children of school age to return to school, especially the girl-child.
He disclosed that the campaign is in line with the National Enrolment Drive Framework and the government’s commitment to ensure that Bayelsa children have access to qualitative education.
EduCeleb.com recalls that in February 2018, Bayelsa State Commissioner of Education, Jonathan Obuebite had threatened to arrest parents of children found out of school during school hours.
“Attendance book would be mandatory in all our public primary and secondary school for the signing in and out of every student.
“Parents are advised to stay calm and let the government fulfil its promise of teaching and protecting their children.
“No parent or guardian would be allowed to pick his/her child during school hours as the safety of our children is the responsibility of the school once they arrive the premises.”
This new line of action is seen as a way of consolidating on such efforts at improving access to basic education in the state.