Raymond Ozoji, Awka
A Child Protection Consultant and Chief Executive My Child My Care Development Initiative Mr. Emeka Edward Ejide has tasked government and stakeholders on the increasing number of children begging for alms during school hours in the state.
He also observed that more children drop out of school in Anambra state thereby culminating in the increasing number of children used for alms begging as well as other social vices inimical to the rights of children.
Ejide, who spoke with newsmen in Awka at the weekend, said although the situation was not peculiar to Anambra state alone he suggested that a state of emergency be declared in the nation’s education sector.
The former Director of Child Development in the defunct Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in Anambra state, said no child should be found outside during school hours.
He frowned upon the increasing number of under-aged children subjected to alms begging but equally suggested that a platform be created for informal education for people who could not access regular schools due to pecuniary reasons.
Ejide however lauded government efforts in the protection of children but observed also that the efforts of the Anambra State Government was not aggressive enough in the welfare and well-being of children in the state suggesting that government should increase welfare budgets for children.
He said such increase in the welfare budgets would help when urchins and destitutes were raided, as they would be classified for the purposes of empowerment and reintegration into the society.
According to him, the budget for the Ministry of Women and Children should be increased to enable it to intensify its welfare programmes for women and children adding that philanthropists and other well-to-do individuals should complement government efforts through financial supports, relief materials as well as other means to ameliorate the situation of the downtrodden in the state.
He further suggested that certain institutions that complement implementation of Child’s Right Law should lack nothing as they would equally help to ensure that Anambra State Children were protected and when such is achieved, there would be a protective environment that is child-friendly.
Ejide however stated that when the Anambra State Government increases budget for the welfare of children, issues of children’s parliament, holiday camps and a host of others will be revived to enable children to see that they were part of the dividends of democracy in Anambra state.