Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Timothy Owoeye, has said the parliament would soon come up with a law that would peg secondary school leaving age at 18.
A statement signed by the lawmaker, copy of which was obtained by our Correspondent on Thursday, said Owoeye disclosed this in his goodwill message to the Osun Youth Agenda High-Level Stakeholder’s Policy Dialogue, held in Osogbo.
It was organised by the Kimpact Development Initiative, with the support of the United Agency for International Development, National Democratic Institute, and the United Kingdom’s Department of International Development.
Owoeye accused many parents of “rushing” their wards through secondary school education, adding that entering higher institution below 18 years of age could make even children from the best home to be vulnerable to negative peer influences.
He further stressed that the current trend of underage high school leavers without any vocational skill had, in part, contributed to high rate of unemployment in the country.
When passed, Owoeye said, the law would checkmate the growing trend of underage secondary school leavers in Osun State.
He explained that in some other countries where such practice is common, there are legal measures in place to ensure that early high school leavers are productively engaged over a period of time before they are permitted to further their studies.
He added that in such countries, young school leavers are also denied the right to drive and some other social rights basically because they have not attained age of 18.
The lawmaker said, “When we eventually make the law, Osun will not only be the first state to enact such law in the country, we will also collaborate with other 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.”