Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Reps pass ‘Anti- Almajiri’ Bill


The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed through second reading a bill that makes provisions for rehabilitation of delinquent children and “to force delinquent children to acquire the said education at any of the special schools across Nigeria.”

The new proposed law is title: “A bill for an Act to amend the compulsory, free universal basic education Act, 2004 and for other related matters 2017.”

The consolidated bill sponsored by Hon. Nasir Garo (APC Kano) and Hon. Mohammed Mahmud also seeks to provide for, amongst other things, the enhancement of the welfare of teachers by ensuring that before states access the federal government grants, the states are made to fulfill their obligation to the teachers by ensuring that eligible teachers due for promotion and salary increment are promptly paid their entitlement to encourage efficiency.

The bill also while amending Section 2 of the Principal Act inserts a new sub section (5) that states: “it is hereby made compulsory on all children or wards to make themselves available for education pursuant to Section 2(1) of this Act, and where a child turns delinquent, he or she shall be forced to acquire the said education a any of the special schools across Nigeria.”

The Amendment bill also seeks the return of unused federal government block grants to the federation account ; make provisions for rehabilitation of delinquent children and to make parents who are resident abroad but whose children reside in Nigeria liable to obligations imposed by the Act.

“The Commission Shall return all unused federal government block grant, pursuant to section 11 (2) of this section to the federation account not later than the end of every appropriation year as enacted by the National Assembly from time to time.”

The amendment bill also provides comprehensive definition for free services, stakeholders and child or ward as captured in the Principal Act, and generally enrich the Principal Act whose fundamental objective is to eradicate illiteracy in Nigeria.

Section 11 of the Principal Act as set out in the bill is to be amended by inserting a new subsection 2 (a) to read that: ” such state shall ensure that teachers who are eligible for promotion are duly considered and promoted.”

A new sub section 2 (b) is also inserted into Section 11 to read: ” Salary increment for teachers shall also be implemented by such state to deserving teachers.”

Apart from Section 11, the bill further seeks to amend Sections 2, 4,7, and 15 of the Principal Act.

After the Second reading of the bill the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara refers it to the House Committee on Basic Education Services for further legislative action.

(The Nation)

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