Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
Osun State House of Assembly under the leadership of Rt. Hon Najeem Salaam has called on parents to give priority attention to early childhood education and protection of the rights of the child.
The house also wants non-governmental organisations and child-related agencies of government to lead in the fight against out of school children as a proactive way to secure the future of the society.
This position was contained in a statement by the Chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, to commemorate this year’s children Day Celebration.
The house, which acknowledged that youths and children are the future leaders, contended that the saying would hold true when adequate attention is given to children through adequate nutrition, relevant investment, exposure to healthy practices and protection from predators and abusers.
It particularly called on parents and guardians to accept responsibilities for the upbringing of their children by ensuring that they take advantage of the education and other opportunities provided by the state government.
The assembly cited that school feeding policy of government was a clear example of ways to nurture the body of children for growth as well as encourage enrolment for basic education.
The parliament also stressed the need for leaders of thought to provide springboard for affirmative action against individuals or group who abuse children either by denying them education, inflicting assault on them physically, engaging them in street hawking, trafficking and sexual abuse.
The Assembly, according to the statement, had passed Osun State Girl Child Marriage (Prohibition) Law, 2004, and Child Right Law, 2007 in the best interest of the Child.
While assuring the residents of the state that the issue of child protection will always be on the front-burner in the deliberations of the house, it also called on all implementation agencies of government to be on the top of their games to ensure that anyone who tramples on the right of the child is brought to book.
Osun Assembly pointed that the priority of good child upbringing that translates into ‘Omoluabi’ in adulthood should be also cherished by all parents and guardians.
The Assembly added that there is the need to create atmosphere that would boost self-esteem of young ones, promotes social etiquette, morals of young ones, provoked their curiosity and inspire them to creativity.
The state has equally gone further to provide educational tools to pupils in schools in the state, to help boost their educational skills and technological prowess.
The most remarkable one is the tablet, popularly known as ‘Opon Imo’ or roughly translated to slab of knowledge, which has sharpened the educational and technological skills of students and pupils in the state, and an initiative and best practice which is being copied by other states around the country.