By Philip Yatai
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs Phoebe Yayi, gave the advice in Kaduna in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Yayi stressed that every child has the right to free, compulsory and universal basic education, adding that the state government has a duty to provide such education.
She said that in meeting this obligation, the government has declared free education to every child from primary to secondary school in the state.
The permanent secretary explained that the move was part of measures to ensure that every resident of the state was literate, to enable them have quality life.
“Therefore, parents have no excuse not to send their children to school, as the government has taken off all financial burden from parents.
“You should be aware that the Child Welfare and Protection Law, 2018, section 18 (6), stipulates that any parent or guardian who fails to send his or her child to school commit an offence.
“It added that a parent is liable on first conviction to be reprimanded and ordered to undertake community service and on second conviction risk fine or imprisonment or both.
“As such, sending your children to school is no longer a choice, but compulsory and failure to do so is a criminal offence with possible jail term.”
She warned that on no account should any parent deny his or her child the right to education, which would unlock the child’s full potential for a better future.
The permanent secretary added that even adults were given a second chance to acquire education in the spirit of “not living any one behind.”
She reiterated the government’s commitment to making the necessary investment in the education sector, improve learning environment and ensure quality of teaching and learning.