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On Saturday, August 13, 2016, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai mandated every parent in Kaduna State to send their children to school. He made this known in the screening of a documentary.
He further stated that those who do not want to enroll their children in school should leave Kaduna state or face being impassioned.
He lamented that the number of children engaged in street begging in the state has grown by leaps and bounds and therefore, wanted to put a stop to it. According to him, the mandate will take effect from September 2016.
I agree that these children should be sent to school. Its the best way to curb street begging, rise in criminal activities and to better the lives of these kids who would become leaders tomorrow.
However, the government is getting it wrong. You can't just force people to send their kids to school without providing free (or cheap) but quality education for these kids. The economy is seriously down, most of these parents struggle to put food on the table. They struggle to put clothes on their children. They struggle to put a roof over their heads. So what makes the government think these parents can afford school fees?
I was priviledge to be part of a program that had to do with schools directly. I was shocked when at one school, more than half the pupils were driven home because of schools fees. How much is the fee? N5,000.
You read right. Five thousand naira. And yet parents found it difficult to pay.
Enrolling their kids in school is one thing, having quality education is another. But then, will it be free education? Or at least, quality education at a very reasonable price?
These are the things I think the Kaduna State governor and every other governor, should look into.
What's your take on this? Please drop your thoughts in the comment box.