Koforidua, Aug. 31, GNA - The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama has called for support for the Ministry of Women's and Children's Affairs Community Children's Centre Initiative in the Regional capitals to give children the opportunities and facilities to develop their potentials. The centres, which would be designed with IT systems, Television rooms, as well as canteen facilities, is expected to serve as child literacy centres where informal education could be made available and accessible to school drop-outs.
Alhaji Mahama said the centres would also afford the children the opportunity to acquire skills like batik, tie and dye making basket making, pottery and other technical and vocational skills and also help the children to develop their talents in sports.
This was contained in a speech read on his behalf at the celebration of the National Children's Day Durbar under the theme: "Providing resource centres for child's development in communities" at Koforidua on Saturday.
He said communities where these facilities would be provided would be expected to provide facilitators to help sustain the project and hence professionals, educationists, retired civil servants and Senior Secondary School leavers would be engaged as demonstrators or tutors at the centres to help children acquire these skills.
Alhaji Aliu Mahama noted that since the assumption of office of the New Patriotic Party(NPP) Government, there has been improvement in the educational sector through its provision of schools, learning materials and equipment to ensure that school-going becomes easier for children.
"This attests to our commitment to ensure that children get the necessary training for the future and our commitment to meet the World summit declarations of providing quality education, among other goals", he said.
He however encouraged the children to be part of the campaign for greater discipline at all times in order to become useful citizens.
The Minister for Women's and Children's Affairs, Mrs Gladys Asmah, noted that it is during out of school hours that children in the absence of parental supervision, get involved in habits inimical to their development through negative peer influences.
Her Ministry, she hoped, through the Community Children's Centre, would however, complement the formal educational system between the period when school closed and when parents returned home from work. She reminded parents of their responsibility to provide the needed infrastructure and facilities to enhance the development of their children and to protect them to be able to meet the challenges of the future.
"It is necessary for us as parents to recognise the dependency of children and our support to attain their potential", she stressed. She however, expressed regret that some parents, using poverty as an excuse, refuse their children opportunities for education, whiles some young mothers too spend a lot of their resources on trivial items like funeral clothes when those resources could have supported the children's education or provided their health needs.
Mrs Asmah reminded the children that rights always goes with responsibilities and as children, it was necessary to reciprocate the sacrifices made by their parents by studying hard and being obedient to their parents, teachers and elders in society.
She also advised them to open up and discuss their problems with their parents and other leaders in their communities for guidance and directions on educational, occupational and health issues.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Eastern Regional Minister, Dr Francis Osafo Mensah, urged children to join the Vice President's crusade to eliminate indiscipline from the society, since democracy, good governance and economic development cannot be achieved in a lawless society.
He also advised them to submit themselves to strict training by being respectful and obedient at all times.
In welcoming address, Nana Ama Kwansa, of Riis Presby JSS, appealed to the government to ensure that parents who refused to send their children to school or provide their children's educational needs are prosecuted.
Child right abusers, she added should also be prosecuted in the courts and chiefs and influential persons should not be allowed to withdraw such cases to be settled out of court.