Amasaman (G/R), June 29, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Tuesday pledged the Government's commitment to the development of the free pre-school system including the provision of lunch as part of the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) programme.
He said this would ensure that even in the remote and deprived communities all children including those of disadvantaged parents would be given adequate preparation before entering primary class one. President Kufuor made the pledge at the inauguration of a 350 million cedis Mother and Child Community Development Centre at Amasaman in the Ga District.
Assisted by the First Lady, Theresa, President Kufuor unveiled a statue of a mother holding the hand of her child to inaugurate the Centre built jointly by the Mother and Child Community Development Foundation, the Ga District Assembly and the European Union (EU) as part of its micro-projects in rural areas.
The Foundation and the Assembly contributed 250 million cedis while the EU provided 100 million cedis to the Centre, the second to be built by the Foundation with the first one at Kotobabi in Accra.
The Foundation is engaged in community development and self-help projects targeted at young mothers in deprived areas, their offspring and those most exposed to the HIV/AIDS patients and their dependents. President Kufuor said the Government would continue to ensure the equitable distribution of educational facilities to all parts of the country to create equal opportunity for each and every child.
He appealed to parents to pay attention to the welfare of their children, particularly those between two and five years, and at the pre-school level in order that when they grew up, they could take advantage of the opportunities that the Government had put in place. President Kufuor said children were the insurance for the nation's future and they deserved the best care, especially now, adding; "it is true that adults must be given all the respect and attention they deserve but children are special and must be given special nourishment, care and love right from birth to enable them to grow into well balanced adults".
Mrs Kufuor, who is the Chief Patron of the Foundation, said many of such centres would be built in rural areas for the proper upbringing of the child.
She said a five-week nursery course was being organized for the nursery attendants as well as a course for nutritionists to be attached to the Centres.
Mr Samuel Attoh, Ga District Chief Executive, said work on the Centre began in 2001 during a visit by Mrs Kufuor, who expressed concern about the plight of the children in the area and decided to build the Centre. He said the establishment of the Centres in the rural areas would grease the wheels of development and reduce poverty among the rural folk.