A lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, University of Jos, Dr. Nancy Katu-Ogundimu, has urged the Federal Government to strengthen the Child Rights Act so as to prosecute parents who do not give their children basic education.
Katu-Ogundimu, who spoke with our correspondent on the wings of a two-day media event held in Enugu and organised by the Child Rights Act Information Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund, noted that it was important for parents to be enlightened about education.
She said, “Enlightening parents about education is very critical and enforcing the law when it comes to the right of the child is also very important. I don’t know if a lot of people are even aware of what the United Nations Act or what the Nigerian law says against child labour and the rights of children. A lot of times we just pay lip service to the laws, we don’t even implement them.
“In the United States, if a child stays out of school in an entire semester of even up to five days, his parents get prosecuted. They will take you to court because they believe that it is the right of that child to be in school. They are not even allowed to let him skip school for a number of days if they don’t have good reasons.”
Arguing that financial incapability was not an excuse for parents to deny their children education, she advised the poor amongst them to consider enrolling their children in public schools where tuition is free.
Katu-Ogundimu said that should the Federal Government begin to implement the law protecting the child from child labour and ensure that his right to good food, nutrition, good health, safety and education were implemented, Nigerian parents would “sit up.”