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Falana Blasts National Assembly Over State Of Basic Education

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Nigerian human rights activist, Femi Falana, has blasted the National Assembly for not doing enough to improve the state of the country’s basic education.

Falana, in a press release on Sunday, October 15, stated that the national assembly is making empty claims about the inadequate state of the nation’s basic education system.

He also criticized the lawmakers for attempting to amend the Universal Basic Education Act of 2004 by enacting severe penalties for parents who fail to send their children to school.

The human rights activist continued by claiming that those in the political class have not paid enough attention to elementary education because they have not made sure that the counterpart fund that states are required to pay is paid to UBEC.

He said: “The needless resolutions are indeed unfortunate because they show that the federal law markers are seemingly lacking in institutional memories of even the progress made by the legislature in making laws to promote universal access to basic education.

“Since each of the 36 States of the Federation has adopted the Child’s Rights Act and enacted a Child’s Rights Law, it has become the joint responsibility of the Federal, State, and Local Governments to ensure that every Nigerian child is given access free and compulsory education.”

He added: “These laws have been observed in their breach because the members of the political class drawn from all registered political parties have not demonstrated any commitment to the education of every child in Nigeria.

“Hence, the members of the legislative and executive organs of governments have failed to appreciate the danger of having 18.5 million out-of-school children, the highest number in the world. Therefore, amending the Compulsory Free Universal Basic Education Act to make it more strings for parents who will not work in a poverty-stricken environment.

“What the National Assembly should do instead is address the refusal of state governments to make counterpart contributions to the Universal Basic Education Fund under section 2 of the Compulsory Free Universal Basic Education Act.

“As a matter of urgency, the National Assembly should ensure the amendment of the Constitution to empower the Accountant-General of the Federation to deduct from the source the counterpart fund payable by every state government to the Universal Basic Education Fund.”