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14.09.2004 General News

National Day of "First Day in School" launched

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Accra, Sept. 14, GNA - The first day of every child in primary one would be celebrated each year as part of government programme to enforce the Free Compulsory and Universal Basic Education (FCUBE). This follows a nationwide launch of the programme on Tuesday in all districts and regions of the country under the monitorship of the Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Ghana Education service. The day would be used to admit and enrol children of school-going age in primary class one after which a certificate of enrolment would be presented to each child.

Mr. Kwadow Baah-Wiredu, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports who announced and launched this at Ngleshie Amanfro, in the Ga District said it was also meant to remind parents and guardians that it was their responsibility to ensure that their children were enrolled in schools. "Any parent who refuse to get his or her child aged six years to enrol will be made to face the full rigors of the law," the Minister noted. He said assemblymen and women, and circuit supervisors would be required to enforce the compulsory aspect of the programme as well effects the sanctioning.

The Minister said a total of 350,000 pupils have been estimated to be enrolled in this year's schools reopening saying the gross enrolment ratio in Ghana is about 82 per cent meaning for every 100 of six-year-old children, only that number go to school. "This is too low as compared to other countries such as South Africa and Thailand whose enrolment ration stood at 103 per cent and 104.4 per cent respectively," he said.

Nii Armah Okine, Chief of Ngleshie Amanfro, expressed satisfaction for the choice of the town to launch the day and called on the government to help expedite action on the work of a school building, he said, had come to a standstill. Besides, he brought to the notice of the Minister, two other schools which he described as death traps saying, "every official who visit the community lament on it. Some even shed tears and promise good things but they go and never come back," the Chief said.

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