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The importance of children education in any given society is very critical to the social and economic development of that society particularly for its future attainment, advancement and development. To deny the child its right to education is to deny the Nation its critical development economically, socially and otherwise. The need of the child ranging from feeding, clothing, accommodation and capacity hangs on the shoulder of adults, parents, guardians and the Government. Because of their vulnerability they cannot cater for themselves hence they must be provided guidance, training and care for meaningful contribution in the society. This task of educating the child for critical thinking and development lies on the society. It was in recognition of this, that the right of children education has been entrenched in several International and Domestic legal Instruments.However, there is the problem of implementation and enforcement of these extant laws as there are still so many uneducated, unfed and tattered children in the street engaged in hawking, child labour, begging and so on. And the resultant effect of this is that the social and economic landscape of the future generation in Nigeria cannot be guaranteed. In this regard therefore the objective of this paper is to bridge information gap by advocating adequate grassroots sensitization on the existence of this laws, make case for reforms of these enabling laws, and provide foundational research for further research in the knowledge area. The methodology of the research adopted is both doctrinal and empirical research methods. In the course of this research the finding of the research is that the various constitutive Instruments though adequate however, lack proper mechanism for effective enforcement and implementation of the provisions of the instruments and also the scourge of poverty renders most parents incapable of sustaining their wards through basic education. The research work recommends the provision of enforcement machinery that will ensure implementation, adequate grassroots sensitization on the childrens’ right to education and the need to address the issue of poverty by empowering the rural and urban poor through the provision of soft loans. It also recommended constitutional amendment to include child’s right to education as a fundamental right.
1.1 Background to the Study
The childhood years have been identified as the most vulnerable years of one’s life, as
the child1to a very large extent depends on its parents or guardians for survival. Any
omission or commission on the part of the parents or guardian can make or mar the
child for life. Under Public International law, the child is recognized as among the
vulnerable persons whose rights must be protected and one of such rights that must be
promoted and protected is the right to education2.
It has been said that education and enlightenment are two nuclei to a proper
understanding of what human rights are and the modus operandi in their enjoyment. So
for a person to understand and appreciate the entirety of his rights as a human he must
be educated first. To deny a person education especially in his early years is akin to
denial of life.
1. A child has been defined by the Article 1 of the Convention on the Right of the Child 1989 as well as Child Right Act as a person under 18 years. So teenagers are included.
2. Article 1 of the World Declaration on the Right of the Child to Education 1990
3. Arinze – Umobi, D. C., The Nigeria Girl - Child, Right to Education and the Nexus with National Development. http//www.right-to-education in Nigeria.co.org/html accessed 21/11/12
It is also said that education is the greatest force that can be used to bring about change
and also the greatest investment that a nation can make for the quick development of
its economic, political, sociological and human resources4. A nation whose citizenry are
majorly uneducated is sure to be under developed and stagnated. Illiteracy has been
traced as the major root cause of poverty and education is identified as the surest route
out of poverty especially for most children in the developing countries.
Public international law recognizes children’s right to education as a fundamental
human right which guarantees the full enjoyment of all other rights as contained in
international legal instr
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