The Ekiti Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, says the state will henceforth arrest parents of pupils found hawking during school hours.
The governor, through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olayinka Oyebode, made this known on Sunday in Ado Ekiti.
The governor gave the warning while meeting with stakeholders in the education sector at the weekend.
The governor asked parents to take advantage of the free education policy of his administration to reduce the number of out-of-school children.
Fayemi said all hands must be on deck to checkmate the declining school enrolment in the state regarded as ‘Fountain of Knowledge’.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Fayemi had, shortly after his inauguration in October 2018, declared free education from primary to senior secondary schools in the state.
He also abolished all education levies and the education tax introduced by the immediate past administration in the state.
At the meeting, Fayemi said that many parents were yet to take full advantage of the free and qualitative education policy of the administration.
He noted that part of the responsibilities of government was to ensure that children and youth who were the future of the nation, were properly groomed through qualitative education that would prepare them for the future.
The governor said the current school enrolment rate of 55 per cent as against 96 per cent recorded in 2014 was unacceptable to his government, adding that something must be done urgently to reverse the ugly trend.
He said that the state government had started compiling records of retired teachers with a view to determining available vacancies in the teaching service and how to fill them.
Fayemi also added that the present administration would soon commence recruitment of competent and qualified teachers who would help to raise the standard of education in the state.
He also disclosed that the administration had commenced the process of returning mission schools to their original owners, but stressed that government would continue to monitor them to ensure that the schools do not decline in standards.