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NGO Raises Alarm Over High Rate Of Out-Of School Children, Advocates Punishment For  Erring Parents

 By Jelili Gbadamosi

A Non Governmental Organisation,  the Jofunmi Loving Heart Foundation  has raised alarm over the high rate of Out-Of-School children in Nigeria.

The NGO urged the State government to punish  parents whose children roam the streets during school hours.

The NGO’s convener represented by the Project Supervisor, Mrs. Ojo Olushola said while speaking during th bcelebration of Children’s Day organised for the children of Oladotun Community in Adehun, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

She  expressed concern over the high number of out-of-school children in the country. 

Olushola  canvassed enactment and enforcement of laws that protect children and hold parents accountable for neglecting their responsibilities. 

She emphasized the importance of government’s  action and policy implementation to address this pressing issue. 

She said “We plead with the government to formulate laws that actually punish parents who fail in their responsibilities. 

“It’s troubling to see teenage girls getting pregnant and then abandoning their children without providing any attention or care.

 the government should prioritize education. We are spending so much on non-essential items while neglecting the core needs of society,” she stated.

 Olushola also stressed the importance of incorporating sexual education into the school curriculum to empower children with the knowledge and tools to protect themselves. 

She said “bringing sexual education into schools will teach children how to protect themselves and understand their rights. 

“Many parents fail to provide this knowledge at home, so, schools can play a crucial role in filling this gap,” she added.

She further lamented the lack of enforcement of existing laws, noting that many parents and children are unaware of their rights. 

“We need to incorporate these laws into the school curriculum so that children know their rights and the protections available to them. 

“It’s not enough to have laws on paper; they must be implemented and made known,” she emphasized.

, highlighted the challenges faced by children in remote areas. 

She pointed out that the recent hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit, commonly known as petrol, has further strained the ability of parents in the community to afford outings for their children.

Beyond the festivities, the foundation used the occasion to advocate children’s rights. 

Speaking on the  essence of the event, the convener said it was to   bring joy and support to parents who struggle financially to provide for their children’s happiness.

The celebration, was marked by various activities, including games, gifts, and engaging talks by experts in child psychology.

She said  the foundation planned to cater for  about  400 children, ensuring a day filled with fun and learning.

She added that the  foundation’s commitment  was to empower individuals and communities through education was underscored by its provision of educational resources, scholarships, and grants to support entrepreneurs. 

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