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01.02.2005 Regional News

Children presented with school materials

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Manso-Nkwanta (Ash), Feb 1, GNA - Eighty-seven pupils and students from basic schools in five communities in the Amansie West district of Ashanti were on Monday presented with school uniforms, pairs of sandals and bags all valued at 18 million cedis at Manso-Nkwanta. The beneficiaries are from Atwere, Abore, Manso-Nkwanta, Suntreso and Dominase.

Mr John Kwadwo Owusu, Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Association of Ghana (EPAG), who presented the items, said they formed part of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the West Africa Cocoa and Agricultural Project (WACAP) programme to eliminate child labour in cocoa farms.

The project, estimated to cost 150 million cedis was aimed among others at withdrawing 100 children from cocoa farms in these communities and give them the needed support to enable them enrol in school.

Mr Owusu said 20 children were selected from each of the five communities and that the school fees of 87 of them would be paid while the remaining 13 are enrolled in vocational training schools to enable them to become self-employed.

The Executive Director said as part of the programme, 50 parents from the five communities would be trained in income-generating ventures such as batik, tie and dye and soap making.

He expressed concerned about the use of child labour by some parents on the farms and advised them to stop the practice. Rather, they should give the children quality education to enable them play positive role in the future.

Mr Abukari Yakubu Alhassan, the District Co-ordinating Director, said as part of its efforts to improve education in the area, the assembly has provided communities with classroom blocks, library books and other facilities.

He appealed to parents and guardians to provide their wards with their basic needs to facilitate their learning.

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