Wednesday, May 26, 2021

#Asaba SCOCA#PH#2021: CSACEFA Presentation Makes Case For Citizens' Inclusive Education.

.....CSO Group Says, 13.2 Million Children Not Accessing Education In Nigeria.

.......As Group Says, Free Basic Education Should Be A Fundamental Rights of Every Nigerian Child.

By Victor Bieni, Asaba

The National Moderator, Civil Society Action Coalition on Education For All ( CSACEFA) Nigeria, Omole Babatunde, ably represented by the Coordinator, CSACEFA, Delta State, Augusta Keneboh has said that
the Nigerian 1999 Constitution only recognizes education as a fundamental right in principle, but not in practice towards free basic and inclusive Education for all children in the country.
CSACEFA made this disclosure in a presentation participated today being 26th May, 2021 during the Senate Committee On 1999 Constitution Review Zonal Public Hearing as Stakeholders in Delta State gather at Grand Hotel, Asaba, Delta State to brainstorm on wayforward for a new Nigeria.
The Stakeholders which comprises of Delta State Government Representatives, Traditional Rulers, Civil Society Organizations, Labour, Trade Union, Market Women, Youth leaders, Women Leaders, Vigilance groups, and other critical Stakeholders to mention but a few maintained stands on the review of the Majority domination of Minority ethnic groups in the  Nigerian 1999 Constitution, the need to promote restructuring, true Federalism, power devolution, and others.
The mammoth crowd of Stakeholders at the event also lend their voices on matters which bothers on Review of Revenue Allocation formula to favour Oil Producing States, State Police, local government autonomy, Legislative, Judicial Autonomy, Civic, Traditional Institutions, Youths and inclusion in Governance, Gender mainstreaming, and other issues which bothers on societal development to be included in the Constitution.
CSACEFA Nigeria Representatives in Delta, Augusta Keneboh stated that Nigeria is currently experiencing an escalation in the number of out of school children, with 13.2 million children not accessing education, making it the highest in the world (with the marginalised population being the most disadvantaged).
According to the Education Development Advocate "there are factors militating full access, preservation of the right( principle) to education.They are poor funding of education, inadequate and low capacity of teachers, lack of infrastructural development especially at the remote and rural areas among others".
She noted that this  position will make the  provision on education for instance, section 18, sub - session(3) reads: " Government shall strive to eradicate illiteracy; and to this end Government shall as and when practicable provide
(a) free,compulsory and universal primary education; (b) free secondary education; (c) free university education; and ( d) free adult literacy programme".
CSACEFA Leadership noted that the constitution units as stated above in the provision has created a lacuna that is easily maneuvered and interpreted according to the disposition of the executive government officials.

The Presentation reads in parts: "This has affected education development of the Nigeria citizens thus:
(a) Denial of Fundamental Rights : The operational statement "When practicable" as highlighted is suffocating the provision of education for all Nigeria Citizen, especially the marginalized- Girls, orphans, and vulnerable children, women and persons with disability".
"Education is a right and not an option for citizens.
( b) .Funding: The constitution provision quoted above: When practicable opens the window for the executive for budget less for education. (c).Enforcement of UBA Act 2004: When practicable is also a hindrance to the enforcement of the Universal Basic Education ( UBE) Act 2004".

"The provision that contains accessing the Universal Basic Education Funds, monitoring pupils enrolment and attendance in primary and secondary schools are not pay attention as expected. (d).High and hidden charges on education:The Nigerian citizens in schools are charged arbitrarily when education should be free and states government are not properly funding secondary education".

"(e) Increasing number of out of school children: The challenges facing out of school children are increasing due to the phrase:When practicable.
CSACEFA Position:
(a).The phrase " When practicable "should be expunged and the section should be amended as
'Government shall strike to eradicate illiteracy; and to this end, Government at all levels shall provide;
(a) Free compulsory, 9 years Basic and Universal primary education for boys and girls".

"(b).Free secondary 6 years education for all Boys and Girls. (c).Free university education ; and
( d).Free adult literacy programme for Women and Men . (b).Primary and Secondary should be concentrated in exclusive list to allow the Federal Federal Government to provide Compulsory, Free,Basic 12 years Universal Primary and Secondary Education for every Boy and Girl in Nigeria".

"(c).It is also our position and proposition that section 18 sub-section(4) stipulates penalty for the violation of this section for government and duty bearers at all levels. This position will it difficult for any Child not to access the necessary education needed for self reliance ,development, lifelong learning and Nation Building".

"(b) It will be easier for the citizens to think Nigeria first thereby reducing and eventually eradicating all forms of unpatriotic acts. (c) Tax can be effectively redirected to education financing, which in its entirety will reduce corruption and poverty in the country. The Government addressing these challenges in the constitution will spotlight the Nigeria education system as a global best practice".

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