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Regional News Fri, 30 Jan 2004

Development of women high on government agenda

Dormaa-Ahenkro (B/A) Jan. 30 GNA- Mr. Yaw Adjei-Duffour, Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, on Friday gave assurance that the development of Ghanaian women is high on the agenda of the government. He said it was also the aim of the government to empower Ghanaian women to enable them to compete favourably with their male counterparts, not only in the country but also on the global market.

Speaking at the national Girl-child celebration at Dormaa-Ahenkro in Dormaa District, the Deputy Minister said the concept had been started with all seriousness right from the enrolment of the girl-child at the primary level up to the tertiary level.

The continuation and expansion of Science, Technology and Mathematics Education Clinic (STMEC) for girls even at the district level is highly indicative of the government's interest in the girl-child education, he said.

The Deputy Regional Minister gave the assurance that the government would create the necessary conditions that would facilitate the training and up-bringing of girls and asked for effective collaboration of all stakeholders, particularly parents.

Mr. Adjei-Duffour warned parents and guardians who allow their daughters to sell iced water and iced kenkey to the detriment of their education to desist from the practice.

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The Reverend Ama Afo Blay, Director General of Ghana Education Service (GES) emphasized the importance of education as the bedrock of socio-economic development.

Education is a right and not a privilege, she said and urged parents and guardians to endeavour to offer quality education to their children, especially the girl-child.

The Director-General expressed concern about increasing rape and defilement cases against women, especially girls, and appealed to the law enforcement agencies to help check the practice.

Miss Aba Mansa Folson, Head of Girl-Child Education of GES, noted that statistics compiled by the Service from 1978 to 2003 showed that the gender gap among girls and boys was closing and called on the district directors to ensure that the right data was submitted to the GES.

She was not happy with the high dropout rate among girls in schools and called on all stakeholders to take the education of the girl-child seriously "since education makes all the difference".

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Mr. Augustine Ampaabeng-Kyeremeh, Acting District Director of Education noted that factors such as drug abuse, gambling, absenteeism among school children affected the standard of education in the district.

He urged parents and guardians to check such practices and provide their children with their basic needs and materials to enhance teaching and learning.

Mrs. Mary Boakye, a tutor at the Dormaa Secondary School who presided advised parents and guardians to avoid expensive funerals and invest in the education of their children.

In a quiz competition organized for students in Dormaa and Berekum Districts as part of the week's celebration, 14 students who excelled were presented with cash, certificates and book prizes.

Source: GNA