Osun to peg secondary school leaving age at 18

The Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Timothy Owoeye, has said the parliament will soon come up with a law that will peg secondary school leaving age at 18 years.

A statement signed by the lawmaker, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent on Thursday, said Owoeye disclosed this in his goodwill message delivered during the Osun Youth Agenda High-Level Stakeholder’s Policy Dialogue, which was organised by a group known as the Kimpact Development Initiative, with support from the United Agency for International Development, National Democratic Institute, and the United Kingdom Department of International Development.

Owoeye accused many parents of rushing their children and wards through secondary school. He warned that sending them to tertiary institutions of learning, while under 18 years, could make even children from the best homes to become vulnerable to negative peer influences.

He further stressed that having a high number of underage high school leavers, who lacked vocational skills, had partly contributed to the high rate of unemployment in the country.

The speaker said the law, if passed, would checkmate the growing trend of underage secondary school leavers in the state.

He explained that in some countries where such practice was common, there were legal measures put in place to ensure that such underage school leavers were productively engaged over a period of time before being permitted to further their studies.

In such countries, he added, young school leavers are also denied the right to drive cars, as well as other social rights, basically because they are under 18 years.

The lawmaker said, “When we eventually make the law, Osun will not only be the first state to enact such law in the country, but we will also collaborate with other states Houses of Assembly to ensure that the law is also passed in their respective states. We will work with the National Assembly to ensure that the law is nationally adopted.”
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