Borno state government has resorted to radical measures in ensuring high level of literacy for children in the state by announcing it would prosecute parents who fail to enroll their children in schools.
Borno State Attorney General/Commissioner of Justice, Alhaji Kaka-Shehu Lawan, on Monday declared that any parent that either out of ignorance or willingly refuses to send his child to school will be made to face the full wrath of the law.
In spite of the incentives introduced by the government, some parents still did not send their children/wards to school, Justice Shehu Lawan lamented.
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According to him, the Borno state government has built new schools and renovated schools vandalised in the course of the insurgency so as to provide conducive atmosphere for learning. The government has also procured 150 luxury buses to provide children in Maiduguri and surrounding communities’ free ride to school, free meals, books, and uniforms.
The state government is also looking at the possibility of introducing cash incentives to parents to allow their children remain in school, an initiative earlier launched by the Sokoto state government in conjunction with the United Nations Children Fund.
Borno state government has therefore directed the Borno State Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to mobilise all children of school age to be enrolled in schools.
Having offered quite a number of incentives to encourage parents to send their children to school, the frustration of the Borno state government is quite understandable.
Besides insurgency, the north is infamous for high level of illiteracy. Of the 40 percent of children aged 6–11 not in school, Northern Nigeria accounts for the lowest school attendance rate in the country, which has prompted some states in the region to launch a massive literacy campaign, and also to pass an education bill.