The Taraba State commissioner of Education, Dr Augustina Godwin said the state government has set up a committee to intercept any child of school age on the streets during school hours to trace his or her parents for possible arrest and prosecution.

The commissioner who stated this yesterday in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital while answering questions from newsmen, said Governor Agbu Kefas had made education free, basic and compulsory for all children of school age irrespective of tribe, religion, political background or status.

The commissioner stated that the governor had allocated money for the running cost of all public schools for the implementation of the free and basic education policy and he is not ready to take any excuse from any parent while a child of school age should be found on the street during school hours.

She called on parents with more than one child not to hesitate to take all the children to schools, stating that the education policy did not give a specific number of children a parent should enroll into the schools.

“We are going to intercept any child of school age found roaming the streets in the state during school hours. We will trace their parents and arrest them for possible prosecution; we have made a law to that effect. There is a specific fine such parents will pay for disobeying state laws.

“The governor had explained that instructional materials have already been paid for and the onward distribution of the materials is going to commence from next week immediately after schools resume. The governor further explained that provision for uniforms will commence January 2024.

“The old students, both from primary and secondary schools should continue with their old uniforms while the newly admitted students should use the clothes they came in with pending when uniforms are provided come next year,” she stated.

The commissioner further revealed that the ministry has reshuffled its monitoring directorates for proper supervision of teachers-students’ responses to the policy and identify the unforeseen challenges.

She said all the monitoring and supervision units in the ministry have been revitalized with finance and mobilities for effective supervision and evaluation to make the policy effective both for learning of the students and the welfare of the teachers.