The National Human Rights Commission has appealed to government and stakeholders to enforce existing laws that will provide free and quality education to all Nigerians.
Acting Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr. Tony Ojukwu made the appeal during a strategic meeting on the promotion and protection of right to education organised by the secretariat of the Network of National Human Rights Institutions in West Africa.
Mr. Ojukwu who delivered a keynote address lamented what he termed a huge gap in education accessibility which he blamed on strikes by teachers and other stakeholders, poor learning conditions and high cost of education.
He stressed the need for education to be accessible to all without any form of discrimination, and to also have in place a more realistic strategic frame work for the advancement of education in the West African sub region.
However, the Ag. Executive Secretary said there is need for an inclusive and functional education system because most of the out of school children are those of nomadic groups, orphans street children, girls and children of poor parents who lack economic prosperity.
In her welcome address the Ag. Executive Secretary of NNHRI-WA, Mrs. Yemisi Akhile reminded participants that the right to education is an alienable right which should be enjoyed by all as enshrined in major international human rights instruments.
Mrs. Akhile said the importance of education in the sub region can never be over emphasized, according to her; this has propelled the ECOWAS Commission to take a decision on promoting the right to education towards the attainment of ECOWAS vision 2020.
Speaking at the event, the Representative of UNESCO regional office Ydo Yao said statistics revealed that 263 million children and young people were out of school in the sub region and 617 million children and adolescents worldwide do not meet the minimum threshold for literacy and mathematics.