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12.05.2004 Education

Educationist not happy about use of mobile phones by SSS Students

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Cape Coast, May 12, GNA - The Cape Coast municipal director of education, Ms Veronica Fry-Annan, on Tuesday deplored the fact that some wealthy parents were giving their children in secondary schools, mobile phones and huge amounts of pocket money to school.

She pointed out that such practices, bred indiscipline in schools and that although these were not allowed, parents flouted school regulations, only to turn round and blame teachers when their children became wayward, adding that some parents had lost control over their children.

Ms Fry-Annan, expressed these sentiments at a seminar on 'responsible parenting' organised by the ministry of women and children's affairs in collaboration with the National Council on Women and Development (NCWD), at Cape Coast on Tuesday.

The seminar, which was a follow up to a seminar on 'operation bring your child home' held last year, was attended by various women's groups and a cross-section of workers in Cape Coast, and was geared towards creating awareness on the need for all parents to cater well for their children.

Ms. Fry-Annan, observed that the use of mobile phones, not only disrupted classes, but made those who did not have them to covet them, thereby resorting to all sorts of means to do so.

According to her, she did not understand why parents should give them to their children when telephones booths have been installed on school

Compounds, and that huge pockets monies, also encourage the children to indulge in all sorts of vices, including drug abuse.

" Money is not everything". Rather, such parents, should give their children good characters", she declared, stressing that the proper upbringing of children, should first begin at home.

She said responsible parenting, involved adhering to one's responsibilities, exhibiting good leadership capabilities, and eventually having to account to God as to how well one brought up one's children.

An official of the Central Regional office of the Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU) Mr Edward Asomani, was concerned that many of the cases of parental neglect, which are brought to the unit, involve fathers who claim to be Christians, but fail to cater for their children.

He said the unit handles about 20 cases of parental neglect in a day, many of them involving husbands who vent their anger against their wives by neglecting their children when their marriages end.

According to him, caring for the children of broken homes, has become a tussle between husbands and wives, and cited a case in which a man who has six children with a woman he was no longer living with, sent them just 60,000 cedis a month, for their upkeep, while he was caring well for the children of another woman.

He said in other cases, although there was a clear indication that the women could also help cater for the children, they refused to do so and instead spent their monies in the acquisition of material wealth.

Mr Asomani, expressed concern about the rising cases of parental neglect and also appealed to parents, to endeavour to plan their families to enable them cater for the needs of their children. He further appealed to all mothers in particular, to strive to acquire skills or engage in trading to supplement the incomes of their husbands in order to effectively support them in the upbringing of their children.

Madam Monica Annan, a retired teacher who spoke on behalf of parents, expressed concern about competition for wealth acquisition, mostly among women in the Cape Coast township, to show off in church or at functions, to the neglect of their children.

She pointed out that both fathers and mothers had a responsibility towards their children and urged all mothers to strive to support financially in the upbringing of their children.

Madam Annan, also tasked parents to endeavour to monitor the activities of their children and to restrict them from viewing pornographic movies or those with a lot of sex or romantic scenes. Mrs Marian Tackie, acting Executive Director of the NCWD, who stood in for the sector minister, expressed concern that many parents blamed poverty for neglecting their children.

She emphasised that it did not require money to show love or find time to be with one's children, and said nurturing a child, is more than just giving birth to it.

Mrs Tackie, also underscored the importance of family planning to enable all parents to cater for their children and attributed the current phenomenon of streetism to parental neglect, adding, "in the olden days they believed in numbers, now the emphasis, is on quality".

She said effective socio-economic development, depended on how best a nation's children were brought up and expressed concern about the practice, whereby children were being given away as house helps or forced to become bread winners and that in such a situation, there would be no parental love and guidance.

Mrs Tackie told the participants that in spite of interventions by the government and NGOs to ensure the proper development of children, it behoved on all parents to play their expected roles effectively. 12 May 04

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