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20.10.2004 Education

Government asked to make primary education free.

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Accra, Oct. 20, GNA - Mr. Matthew Mac-Kwame, President of the International Club of Journalists for Children's Rights (ICJCR) on Wednesday called on the government to, at least make education from primary one to six free.

He said it was when primary education was made free that the country could solve its socio-economic problems, most of which could be traced to lack of education.

Mr. Mac-Kwame said this at the opening ceremony of a two-day workshop for ICJCR members on the theme, " Media Advocacy on Education for All."

The workshop, which had support from the Commonwealth Education Fund (CEF) and attracted about 25 participants, seeks to strengthen the capacity of child-focus media practitioners to sensitise the public and campaign for the achievement of the Education For All Goals in Ghana. He said most of the country's setbacks in health, human rights abuses and economy could be attributed to poor and expensive education, which he said, was contrary to the constitutional provision on education.

" The 1992 constitution and the 1998 Children's Act clearly stated children's right to education however very little has been done on children education in Ghana," he said.

It was therefore, necessary for a concerted effort towards treating education of the Ghanaian child as a campaign issue. Mrs Juliana Adu-Gyamfi, Member of CEF Ghana Management Committee, said information from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports indicated that about 18 percent of school going age children were not in school and that even the fortunate ones enrolled later dropped out. She added that most of those children being girls, orphans and children from deprived communities were burden to the nation and thus could not make any significant progress at eliminating poverty from the society.

She therefore, called on the media and civil society to assist the government to ensure that all children enjoyed their right to education and that it was only when this was guaranteed that the individual could access and enjoy other basic rights.

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