Many children still out of School despite Government's interventions

Koforidua,Ghana -GNA
The Eastern Regional Multi sector committee on Children has expressed worry that despite the manyinterventions by government to enable all children to have access to education, many of them are still out of school in the region. The committee said with the implementation of the capitation grant, school feeding, free school uniforms and exercise books to public schools, no child should be prevented by any reason from going to school at least having basic education. Reports have shown that many children in the region between the ages of seven to 16 years and supposed to be in school are mostly found selling or doing menial jobs such as washing plates atbars, carrying loads at the markets and selling of goods ranging from water to coconut during class hours. The committee has therefore put a number of measures including sensitization durbars in the rural communities to create awareness among parents on the need to send their children to school. This came to light at the last quarter meeting of the members of the committee. Membership of the committee include representatives from the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit, Ghana Education Service (GES), Social Welfare, Department of Community Development, Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and traditional authorities.

Mr Anthony Dontoh, the Regional Director of the Department of Children, said the committee over the years had noticed that many children were out of school and their preliminary investigations revealed parents, for no reason, prevented their children from going to school and rather made them to help them in the market or on the farms. He said the committee now had to liaise with the stakeholders to ensure that the right of all children to be in school is upheld for the realization of the Millennium Development Goals and urged members to report any child seen loitering during school hours for appropriate action.

Madam Patience Salu, a Programs Officer from the World Vision International (WVI), said in some communities there were empty classrooms whiles children who are supposed to go to school would be doing something else and stressed the need for parents to be interested in their wards education. She said the WVI had implemented many measures including community sensitization and awareness on the importance of education and even provided school materials to communities where the children were vulnerable to upscale the number of school enrolment in the communities.

Mr Kofi Adade Debrah, the Eastern Regional Coordinator of Plan Ghana, said many children in the basic schools had been offered scholarships to the tune of GHC 90,000 this year by the organization in the area to ensure that all children had access to education. He said that gesture was aimed at helping the government to meet
the MDG’s that required that every child by 2015 should have at least basic education and pledged to support the committee in its resolve to ensure that all children go to school.