The Minister for Women and Children's Affairs, Akua Sena Dansua, has reiterated the value of children, and placed them at the pivot of the family and the community at large. Since children are considered as the 'future of the nucleus and extended families.'
She said this at the launch of the 2009 Easter School for Children on the theme, 'Growing Child Participation through Service Learning' in Accra last Tuesday.
According to the Minister, the future sustenance of the family and the nation lies largely in the way we handle challenges of children and how we safeguard their right to protect them from harm.
Ms Dansua said, children suffer various forms of discriminations and deprivation including the inability to express themselves to participate fully in matters which affect them in the society.
She added that for every child to grow into a responsible adult; they should be allowed to develop their potential to the fullest.
She regretted the basic challenges bringing up children to have unfettered right to opinion and participation within our socio-cultural set up where the child is expected to be seen and not heard. Adding that,Children who are able to express their opinions and views are said to be 'disrespectful'.
Ms Dansua said, children's issues are a pivotal part of the development agenda of the new administration, and promised that Government is going to work to ensure that children develop their potential to the fullest.
She emphasised that the enhancement of various existing child welfare policies such as the capitation grant, school feeding programme will be expanded.
The Minister believes, Government's support in shouldering a portion of examination fees at the second cycle level, provision of free school uniform at the basic level and free supply of exercise books to children in deprived communities, will go a long way to promote education especially among the poor and deprived in society.
She urged all children to take their education seriously and abstain from negative practices such as alcoholism and patronising pornography, premarital sex and the use of hard drugs, among other social vices.
The Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mrs Elizabeth Mills-Robertson, said children are the future leaders of every nation and therefore, it is expedient and imperative that every state takes care of them.
She reiterated that children are also expected to be obedient and respectful to their parents and grow to become responsible citizens.
She pledged her support as an Acting Inspector-General of Police and a mother to protect the right of children.
She also added that the police will ensure that people who violate the rights of the chidden are dealt with accordingly, adding 'our children are our assets''.
Mr Bright Appiah said the Easter School for Children is aimed at providing children the platform to discuss and share issues at the national level and issue communiquÃ© that reflects their own understanding, thinking and suggesting.
He said, children be given the opportunity to discuss election 2008, conflict in Ghana and share their views and opinions, and hope their views will be factored into the broader template of decision towards disciplined and recognition of the rights of children.