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Regional News Fri, 7 May 2004

Parents warned against exploiting children

Cape Coast, May 7, GNA- Miss Veronica Fry-Annan, Municipal Director of the Ghana Education Service (GES) in Cape Coast on Friday, called on parents to desist from engaging their children in economic activities that are detrimental to their education.

She said, parents could ask the children "to do some selling" as a way of generating some funds to supplement the family's income, but cautioned that, it should not be done at the expense of their education.

Mrs Fry-Annan made these remarks at Cape Coast, at a programme dubbed, "mailing to the President," for school children to send letters written by them to His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana, through the Regional Minister, Mr Isaac Edumadze.

It aimed at creating forum for children in school to play advocacy for their counterparts who are "missing out in school".

The function, which was jointly organised by the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC), and the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), formed part of activities of this year's Global Week of Action on Education (GWAE), which took place from the April 19 to 25. The weeklong activities were geared towards creating the awareness of the plight of children who are of school-going age, but are not in school.

It was also meant to lobby governments and people in leadership positions to provide more resources to get all children everywhere to school.

Mrs Fry-Annan, who chaired the function, stressed the need for all parents to ensure that their children go to school.

Mr Thomas Baafi, regional GNAT secretary said most of the children who are on the streets selling have hidden talents and capabilities, which needed to be developed.

He said about 400 letters were written by the children from basic schools in the region for on-ward transmission to the Head of State. Some of the letters which were read at the function, called on the President to make available to needy but brilliant children in schools some of the HIPC funds to enable them to complete their education.

Others also asked the President to initiate moves aimed at increasing wages and salaries of workers to enable them to sponsor the education of their wards.

Mr Michael Essandoh, Regional Co-ordinating Director who received the letters on behalf of the Regional Minister, urged the pupils to complement the effort of government and all stakeholders in education by being studious and obedient to their teachers and parents. He assured them, that their letters were "in safe hands", and after going through them with the Minister, they would be transmitted to President John Agyekum Kufuor.

Source: GNA