Femi Falana Criticizes National Assembly Over Nigeria’s Basic Education

Femi Falana Criticizes National Assembly Over Nigeria’s Basic Education

Falana’s Critique of the National Assembly

Renowned Nigerian human rights activist, Femi Falana, has delivered a scathing critique of the National Assembly, accusing it of inadequate efforts to enhance the state of basic education in the country.

In a press release issued on Sunday, October 15, Falana expressed his dissatisfaction with the National Assembly’s response to the state of Nigeria’s basic education system.

Empty Claims About Basic Education

Falana took issue with what he saw as empty claims made by the National Assembly regarding the inadequacy of the nation’s basic education system.

He accused the lawmakers of merely paying lip service to the issue rather than taking substantial actions to address the challenges.

Criticism of Amendments to Universal Basic Education Act

One of the key points of contention highlighted by Falana was the National Assembly’s attempt to amend the Universal Basic Education Act of 2004 by introducing severe penalties for parents who fail to send their children to school.

He viewed this as a misguided approach and criticized the focus on penalizing parents rather than addressing the root causes of educational challenges.

Political Class Neglecting Elementary Education

The human rights activist pointed out that the political class, represented by both legislators and executives, has not given adequate attention to elementary education.

He argued that their lack of commitment to ensuring that states pay the required counterpart fund to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has hampered progress in the sector.

Need for Joint Responsibility

Falana emphasized the need for a joint responsibility between the federal, state, and local governments to provide every Nigerian child with access to free and compulsory education.

He highlighted the existence of Child’s Rights Acts and Laws in the states, but noted that these have often been ignored due to a lack of commitment from the political class.

Addressing Out-of-School Children

One of the most pressing issues highlighted by Falana was the alarming number of out-of-school children in Nigeria, which he described as the highest in the world, totaling 18.5 million.

Instead of focusing on punitive measures for parents, he argued that the National Assembly should address the refusal of state governments to make their counterpart contributions to the Universal Basic Education Fund.

Urgent Amendment of the Constitution

To rectify the situation, Falana proposed that the National Assembly should urgently amend the Constitution to empower the Accountant-General of the Federation to deduct the counterpart funds directly from state governments’ sources and allocate them to the Universal Basic Education Fund.

Femi Falana’s critique of the National Assembly’s approach to improving Nigeria’s basic education system highlights the need for a more comprehensive and collaborative effort to address the challenges faced by the nation’s children.

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