THE Niger State Government on Wednesday said it had started sponsoring 175 out-of-school children in various public primary and secondary schools in Minna.
Mrs Mairam Kolo, the Director-General (DG) of the state’s Child Rights Protection Agency disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna.
Kolo said that the agency was collaborating with the state Ministry of Education to give free education and free uniforms to the children.
“The agency picked the children randomly from where they were begging and hawking in the streets.
“The aim of the agency is to protect the rights of children from being violated and ensure that they are in school.
“We send them to government schools for the public to know that public schools can produce great people.
“These children are being given the opportunity to acquire western education in an enabling environment instead of engaging in street begging and hawking.
“The government is also providing free meals in school,’’ she said.
Kolo said that the gesture was part of the government’s efforts to reduce the number of out-of-school children as well as abolish street begging and hawking.
The director-general also appealed to parents to participate in the ongoing maternal new and child-born week and get free medical treatment being offered by the state Ministry of Health.
“The free medical treatment is for children and pregnant women. They are being given free drugs, mosquito nets and free immunisation against all forms of diseases.
“This free medical care is ongoing across the 25 local government areas of the state,’’ she said.
Kolo advised pregnant women and parents to visit Primary Health Care Centres nearest to them to access free medical services.