Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State has said the increasing number of out-of-school children has fueled security challenges facing the country.
He particularly identified kidnapping, insurgency, armed robbery as vices in which youths who are out of the school system have been very active.
Ishaku stated this in Jalingo, the state capital, at the Jolly Nyame Stadium when he flagged off Better Education Service Delivery For All (BESDA)
The governor lamented that some parents have a habit of removing girls from school for early marriage, child labour, child abuse, and street hawking during the school period which he said would no longer be tolerated in the state.“The unacceptable attitude of some parents who denied their children access to basic education has contributed to the rise in societal ills, particularly insurgency, banditry, and kidnapping.
“It is heartening that the Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) Programme, which began in 2019, has become a beacon of hope, particularly for Out Of School Children.”
The governor stated that his administration has engaged and will continue to engage with traditional rulers, religious leaders, and stakeholders on the importance of mobilising followers to participate in the programme, which he described as critical to the state.
“Henceforth, government will take harsh measures against parents or guardians who intentionally deny their children access to free and compulsory education in the state.
“This is because government has committed enormous resources in the education sector, such as the establishment of more primary and secondary schools. For instance, in 2015, when this administration came in, there were 265 secondary schools but today the number has increased to 305 as a result of increased enrollment,” Ishaku stated.