The 10th Senate, led by Godswill Akpabio, recently introduced a bill that mandates a penalty of N50,000 for parents who fail to ensure their children’s primary and secondary school education enrollment. The bill, championed by Senator Orji Kalu, also advocates for free meals for all school-age children in Nigeria.
According to the proposed bill titled ‘Compulsory Free Universal Basic Education Act 2004, Section 2’, it is obligatory for every government in Nigeria to provide free, compulsory, and universal basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age.
The act underscores that parents must ensure their children attend and complete their primary and junior secondary education, and local education stakeholders must ensure that parents or guardians fulfil this obligation.
In the case of contravention, the bill stipulates penalties for non-compliance. For the first offence, a parent will be reprimanded; for the second offence, a fine of N20,000 or imprisonment for one month or both is proposed; and for subsequent violations, a fine of N50,000 or imprisonment for two months or both.
Furthermore, the Senate has recommended amendments to the fines stated in the existing act. The proposed changes include increasing the penalties to N50,000 for a second offence and N100,000 for subsequent violations.
The bill emphasizes that every parent must ensure their child receives a suitable full-time education, considering their age, ability, and aptitude through regular school attendance.
The bill is poised to significantly impact the education landscape in Nigeria by compelling parents to take responsibility for their children’s education.
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