Parents and guardians who fail to send their children and wards to school will henceforth be arrested and prosecuted by the Bayelsa State Government.
The State Commissioner of Education, Chief Salo Adikumo disclosed this in his office while interacting with newsmen shortly after he accompanied the state governor to inspect projects under the Ministry of Education in Sagbama Local Government Area of the state.
Chief Adikumo said with the free and compulsory education policy of the state government, parents and guardians, whose children and wards are of school-going age, have no reason not to send such children to school.
He said the free education policy is not just a mere pronouncement by the state government but has a well-articulated legal framework to ensure the continuity of the policy as well as to convict anyone who contravenes the policy, noting that modalities have been worked out to ensure that children who are of school-going age are restrained from hawking along the streets during school periods.
The commissioner explained that the proclamation of free and compulsory education by Governor Seriake Dickson was informed by government’s desire to ensure zero tolerance on illiteracy in the state, pointing out that shortly after the proclamation, contracts were awarded for the construction of critical infrastructure as well as the procurement of various elements of free education, including uniforms, books and dual desks.
Responding to a question on whether the policy is yielding the desired results, Chief Adikumo said a huge success has already been recorded, pointing out that apart from the increasing number of pupil and student-enrolment into public primary and secondary schools, the rate of school drop-outs too has reduced tremendously.
Chief Adikumo emphasized that in order to ensure sustainability of government progammes and avoid wastage in the education sector, government has deviced mechanisms such as effective planning, policy implementation, co-ordination, monitoring and control to evaluate the degree of progress made.