Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the gamut of reforms and initiatives to improve the quality of life of children in the state demonstrate the state government’s commitment to providing spaces for children to fully realise their potentials.
Obaseki gave this assurance on the occasion of the 2018 Children’s Day celebrations, held at the University of Benin Sports Complex, in Benin City, on Sunday.
Obaseki, who was represented by his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, said the theme for this year’ s Children’s Day celebration, Creating Safe Spaces for Children: our Collective Responsibility, is apt and reflects the commitment of the Edo State government towards creating secure environment for the overall development of children and the prosperity of families.
He said the state was committed, more than ever before, to creating safe spaces for children with its aggressive fight against human trafficking, which is one of the greatest crimes against humanity.
According to him, “The setting up of the Anti-human trafficking Task Force attests to the fact that government places priority on the issue. On my part, I am committed to protecting the total wellbeing of the Edo Child. The office of the First Lady in 2017 launched the Children’s version of the Child Rights Law. In 2018, we launched the state’s version of Ending Violence Against Children in Nigeria (EVAC).
Wife of the Governor, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, who was represented by the Deputy Governor’s wife, Mrs. Maryann Shaibu, said, “We launched the Betsy Obaseki After School Club and Betsy’s Angels Shelter and Training initiatives to provide skills for our secondary school children and give second chance to returnees in the state.”
Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Magdalene Ohenhen, said between last year’s celebration and this year’s, the state government has initiated policies and engaged in collaborations that have impacted on the wellbeing of the Edo Child.
Meanwhile, the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), has hailed the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration for the commitment, innovation and foresight in adopting technology driven reforms that midwifed the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo BEST) programme.
Acting Chairman of Edo SUBEB and Special Adviser to the Governor on Basic Education, Dr. Joan Osa Oviawe, who disclosed this to journalists in Benin City, the Edo State capital, said that the board has fully integrated the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools for teaching and administration in selected schools in the pilot phase of the Edo BEST programme.
Dr. Osa Oviawe, reflecting on the governor’s initiatives, explained that the reforms are to create a conducive learning environment for children to excel in their academics, noting, “We have launched registration of pupils using ICT in schools where the Head Teachers were trained in the Edo BEST pilot programme.
She added, “The Head Teachers were trained to create an electronic profile for each child in these schools. Every child is now being registered using smart phones distributed to the teachers. The head teacher takes a picture of the child, records the vital information: name, date of birth, name and phone number of parents and guardians, among other data.”
“The idea behind the registration using ICT is to enable Edo SUBEB develop personal record for every child in public schools, so that when a child transfers to another school, their electronic profile will be easily transferred to the new school the child resumes,” she noted
Speaker of the Edo Children’s Parliament, Hon. Abieyuwa-Ereomo Omoregie, called for a collaborative effort from all stakeholders to address all forms of abuse against children.
During a media chat with journalists in Benin to mark the 2018 Children’s Day celebrations, Omoregie said: “Insulting or flogging a child as a method of correction is harmful and wrong and it is a form of Mental and emotional abuse. Such forms of abuse are painful and put scars in the mind of the child and these scars are difficult to erase,” she added.