The Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said the arrest and prosecution of parents and guardians of out-of-school children will begin in the state from September 12 when the schools resume.
The governor who disclosed this yesterday in Benin while speaking on the resumption of the new school calendar year said machinery had been put in place for the enforcement.
He said special courts had been set up to prosecute perpetrators of sexual and physical abuses against children in schools in the state.
“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 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.”
He said his administration was committed to guaranteeing the care, protection and wellbeing of every Edo child.
The governor said he had instructed the state’s ministry of education to demolish all dilapidated buildings in schools and move affected students to other schools to allow rebuilding.
“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 sits on the ground to learn,” Obaseki added.