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05.05.2004 General News

Government urged to use GETFund to pay fees

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Mankessim (C/R), May 5, GNA - The co-ordinator of the Central Regional Chapter of Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition, Miss Kate Harriet Warden has appealed to the government to use part of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to pay for sports, culture, examination and other fees being paid in basic schools.

Miss Warden said though payment of school fees has been abolished in basic schools under the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE), sports, culture, examination fees and others have driven out many children whose parents could not afford payment, out of school.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency at Mankessim after a seminar at Kormantse to round off a week-long action programme on education, she said the situation was confusing parents as to how free was the FCUBE.

The programme, which aimed at educating parents to see the need to send their children to school, formed part of Global Action on Education Week activities, which is celebrated in the third week of April in the 250 member countries worldwide. It was on the theme: "Missing children out of school".

Miss Warden said to enable the compulsory aspect of the FCUBE to have an impact, immediate action should be taken to absorb such fees most of which were fixed by the district assemblies.

Miss Warden appealed to school authorities to allow children, especially those in primary school, whose parents could not afford school uniforms, to attend classes in their housedresses. Some of the children who were not in school attributed their plight to poverty since their parents could not afford the fees and their pocket money.

Some said their parents have gone on fishing expedition elsewhere living them in the care of their aged grandparents who could not even feed them, therefore they are compelled to drop out to labour to fend for themselves.

Others said because they were not clever at school they became a laughing stock of their peers.

The revelations of the children moved the DCE for Mfantseman Mr Robert Quainoo-Arthur who promised to cater for their education and deposited 100,000 cedis for payment of their fees.

Mr Quainoo-Arthur appealed to parents to set their priorities right, stressing that child education was the greatest investment they could make towards their old age.

He appealed to them to practise family planning to reduce the size of their families.

Nana Araba Otua II of Mankessim and Nana Akyen II chief of Kormantse who chaired the function took turns to advise parents to take good care of their children.