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21.03.2004 Regional News

Parental irresponsibility increasing in Upper West Region

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Wa, March 21, GNA - Parental irresponsibility and neglect of children are gradually increasing in the Upper West Region, Chief Inspector Joseph Darison of the Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU) of the police has said.

He said only five of such cases were recorded in 2001 but increased to 17 cases in 2002 and 45 cases in 2003.

Inspector Darison who announced this at Wa during a multi-sectoral committee meeting organised by the Commission on Childdren attributed the increase to awareness of the people.

"Hitherto, people did not find it expedient to report such cases to the right authorities for redress but now that they have been enlightened and they come in everyday."

He however, revealed that child abductions and concealment of babies in polythene bags were decreasing in the region due to intensive educational programmes.

"In 2001, 18 abduction cases were recorded, 19 in 2002 and decreased to 11 in 2003, while concealment which recorded two in 2001 and increased to three the next year was not recorded at all in 2002.

Mrs Lucy Kokoro Deputy Regional Director of Education warned that teachers who engage in sexual relations with their pupils would be dismissed or suspended depending on the enormity of their crimes. She said although enrolment was increasing in most basic schools, lack of qualified teachers, abduction and elopement of girls and withdrawal of children for farming activities were hampering their education.

Mrs Kokoro commended World Food Programme, DFID, Action Aid, World Vision, DANIDA, Catholic Relief Service, OFAM and other Non-Governmental Organisations for their immense contributions towards the development of education in the Region.

Mrs Clarc Der, Regional Co-ordinator of GNCC commended the people of the region for championing the rights of children.