Complementary educational system recommended for child larbourers
Accra, Dec. 15, GNA –A research report on the education needs assessment in target cocoa growing communities including coverage of migrant children in Ghana has recommended for a complementary educational system to meet the needs of child farm labourers.
The system if adopted, would address the life needs of these children taking into account the fact that they have missed the opportunity for formal education.
Dr Margaret Sackey, the Research Consultant, said at a day's validation workshop in Accra on Wednesday that existing complementary packages within the country should be reviewed and where possible adapted for children engaged in farm labour.
She said the report seeks to help develop targeted interventions towards the achievement of the integrated Area-Based approach for the elimination of worst forms of child labour.
The study was designed to find short, medium and long term solutions for effective mainstreaming of strategies, policies and programmes of the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service to promote quality education.
She noted that the study has revealed that there were adequate legislative and policy frameworks to ensure equal access to education throughout the country but the challenge was embedded in the enforcement of the law and implementation of programmes and the lack of adequate financial backing to the policy.
“The study finds a low level of commitment of parents in Cocoa growing communities towards their children's education,” she said.
Dr Sackey explained that parents were also ignorant about other forms of education while their apparent apathy stem from their failure to see the benefit of education as most children perform poorly in the terminal examinations.
The research consultant also said school infrastructure was not child-friendly and sometimes unsafe and therefore needed to be improved.
Some of the key findings of the study included the reluctance of teachers to work in rural and remote communities, provision of education is considered the responsibility of the Government with no input from parents who see themselves as too poor to support their children and that children consider themselves as helpless victims of poor education and although ambitious, were very pessimistic about the future.
She said government through its agencies and state security should enforced the tents of compulsory education at the basic level while Metropolitan and Municipal and District Assemblies should promote the demand for basic education.
Mr. Emmanuel Kwame Mensah, a representative of International Labour Organisation (ILO), said statistics indicated that 50 million children in Africa engage in hazardous work posing danger to their health.
He commended the Mr Enoch Teye Mensah, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, for his efforts at championing the elimination of child labour in cocoa growing areas.
Mr Mensah called for collaborative efforts between parents and teachers in the training of children for national development and urged stakeholders to stress on attitudinal change to improve on behavior of future leaders.
He said more avenues for skill training should be provided for children who found themselves in the informal educational sector.
The Minister, however, cautioned NGOs, civil society groups and individuals to stop soliciting for funds from the international community in the name of supporting the elimination of child labour to better their lives, instead of helping the process.