Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has ordered the arrest and prosecution of parents who refuse to send their children to school.
The governor, who stated this during an interactive session with UNICEF Youth Advocacy in Government House, said his administration and that of the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II have concluded plans to send a bill to the state House of Assembly to that effect.
According to him, the bill will ensure that primary and secondary education will be free and compulsory for all school-age children in the state, adding that, “with the bill signed into law, parents who refused to take their children to go to school will be taken to court.
“Children begging on the street instead of going to school will be arrested and their parents arrested and charge to court for prosecution because begging is not our religion. Begging is not Islam. Those children who are begging will be arrested and their parents will be taken to court for allowing their children to be begging instead of attending school.”
Ganduje said his administration has ensured that over 30, 000 primary and secondary school teachers get qualified certificates, adding that as it stands, Kano has less than three percent, unqualified teachers, “and we are ensuring that they go back to school for their qualified certificate.”
He added, “We hope you as development partners when we are being accused by mischievous people; we want you to come forward and defend us. Anything we do for the development of education, if we receive undue criticism, I urge you to demonstrate and we will give you protection. That is the only way we can get a change. Otherwise, all that we are doing will remain theoretical.”
“I wish what is happening now happened 20 years ago. It would have been a different story by now. Kano state is the most populous state in the federation. We want our population to be a quality population. There are some countries in the world that don’t have a drop of oil, but yet their economy is strong. The main reason is education, even development, and technology.
“So, we being the most populous state in the world, we want our population to be an asset. As China has conquered the world as a result of the population that is how Kano will conquer Nigeria as a result of population.”
Mr. Nimatullah Bala Umar, the leader of the group said UNICEF recognizes the efforts of Kano state government in addressing the situation of out-of-school children with the implementation of various programmes in the state to improve children’s access to quality education and further commended the leadership of the governor.