By EBEN ENASCO KINGSLEY, Benin City
GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State says the State Government will spend the sum of N3 billion to build more schools in the state, this year, insisting that every Edo child must go to quality schools.
Speaking at this year’s International Children’s Day celebration at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, Friday, Governor Oshiomhole said the state government had in the past seven and half years devoted resources to rebuild public schools in order to make them attractive and conducive for teaching and learning.
He assured that the state government will “continue to build more schools. Before the end of this year, between now and December, Edo State Government will spend another N3 billion to build more primary schools. I believe that our security and the security of our nation demands that we do not spare any effort in providing you the opportunity you need for quality education.”
He maintained, “We will continue to make investments in constructing modern primary schools, modern secondary schools so that you have an enabling environment to be taught by teachers who are well paid. President Buhari says I should congratulate you on this day. He is doing everything possible to ensure that the Nigerian child has a quality education, to ensure that all those things that affect Nigerian children, the government is doing everything possible to ensure that those practices like violence against children that they are dealt with firmly. You are also aware that the Federal Government is working to introduce one meal a day feeding for our school children. We have a President that is totally committed to ensuring that the right of the Nigerian child is upheld.”
According to Oshiomhole, “We in Edo State will sustain what we have already started. I am sure you are happy when you enter the Comrade Bus. We will sustain the free bus ride because for us the Edo child deserves the very best.
I ask you to continue to take your studies very seriously. As you already know, we are now in a knowledge-driven world. Anyone who is not educated has no future. Today, we are proud to say that in Edo State, we have the lowest percentage of out-of-school children which is today about six percent.
We want to bring it down to zero. Every child has a right to go school. Every parent must be encouraged to stop child labour. Children who should be in school should not be allowed to be involved in hawking. That is why in Edo State we ensure teachers’ salaries are paid as and when due because if the teachers are not paid, even if they don’t go on strike, they cannot teach on an empty stomach. So, when your teachers are working hard, you must be ready to learn; you must be ready listen.”
The Governor congratulated the children on this year’s Children’s Day celebration and assured them of the protection of their basic rights and privileges. He said, “Let me welcome you and congratulate you on this day which has been reserved to celebrate the Nigerian child. Let me assure you that Edo State Government will continue to do everything possible to ensure that the basic rights and privileges of the Nigerian child and in particular of Edo child are respected both at home, in society, in school and everywhere.”
The event featured march past by pupils and students from various primary and secondary schools as well as voluntary organizations while Governor Adams Oshiomhole stood to take the salute. Prizes were given to deserving schools and voluntary organizations.