Gov Uduaghan Inaugurates Education Marshals As Part Of Efforts To Get All School-Age Children Back To Schools
Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan today [16-9-13] in Asaba inaugurated over 25 Education Special Marshals and 100 Education Marshals (EduMarshals) with a charge to ensure that all school-age children attend school compulsorily.
Dr. Uduaghan, who said that education was the bedrock of every society, noted that the inauguration of the Education Marshals was necessary to ensure that children of school age especially the 8 percent that were not in school presently benefitted from the free education programme of the state government.
Besides, he said that the programme would educate the parents on the need to send their wards to school rather than to hawk during school hours.
He urged parents to send their wards to schools as the state government has provided the enabling environment to give the children the best in education through the provision of free and qualitative education up to secondary school level.
In addition, he disclosed that the government has provided scholarship to Deltans in high institutions of learning, built and renovated schools across the state, employed more teachers and improved the income of parents through the state micro-credit scheme.
His words 'This programme is a serious business to get our children back to school. Over 8% of Delta children are not in school according to the United Nation statistics; this is as a result of financial, cultural, traditional and economic issues. Government have tried to address these excuses by building and renovating schools in the state, employing more teachers and improving the income of parents through the state Micro-Credit Scheme.'
Governor Uduaghan commended various communities that have inaugurated programmes to ensure that children in their localities were in schools and advised them to continue in their effort as they key into the state government initiative of EduMarshals.
'Education was the best legacy we can bequeath to our children and our society, because if our children are well educated, they can take informed decisions on issues', he stated.
While addressing school children at the venue, the Governor advised them to ensure that they go to school early and stay till the close of the day as any child caught by the EduMarshals outside school premises during school hours would be punished and the parents sanctioned.
He admonished the children not to hawk or be found selling in their parents stores during school hours while they are suppose to be in school saying:
'if your parents give you wares to go and hawk or send you to go to their shops to sell while you are supposed to be in school don't go.'
Governor Uduaghan named The Minister of Finance, Professor Ngozi Okonjo Iwela and the Chief Executive Officer of This Day Newspaper, Chief Nduka Obiagbena as Ambassadors of Education because of their commitment to education especially in the state.
The Governor also inaugurated about 25 Education Special Marshals and 100 EduMarshals to help monitor this initiative in their respective zones and field of endeavours to ensure its success.
In a welcome address, The Commission of Higher Education, Professor Hope Eghagha, who represented the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Professor Patrick Muoboghare explained that the initiative was to ensure that no child of school age was found outside the school premises hawking or selling during school hours.
Professor Eghagha said the state government made education free to enable every child have access to education but that some parents prefer their economic gains to the education of their children.
In her address, the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Education, Lady Stella Blaize said the state government was devoted to providing quality education for every child in the state and no parent has the right to denial his/her child such right.
In a Goodwill Message, the state President of Nigerian Council of Women Society, Delta State Chapter, Mrs. Chinyere Odili thanked Governor Uduaghan for the free education in the state and assured him that the organization would key into the EduMarshals' initiative and ensure that all children in the 25 local government area of the state are in school.
She also assured the Governor that the organization would enlighten parents at the grassroots on the importance to allow their children go to school rather than hawking during school hours.
Also in a Goodwill Message, the Orodje of Okpe, HRM Orhue 1, informed the governor that a similar programme was started in his community about 2 years ago to ensure that every child was in school and do not hawk or sell during school hours.
He noted that in his community they have District Education Committee and Village Education Committee in-charge of the responsibility and appealed to women to complement Government effort by having a manageable family size that they can afford to train and send to school.