Kyebi, Feb.27, GNA - The Okyehene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, has called on the society to be interested in the welfare of children to ensure that every school going-age child had equal access to education in a conducive environment. He explained that it was only when the society had seen the need to support with their resources and adopt the needy to have access to education, that the goal of education for all children would be realized at the stipulated time.
Speaking at the launching of the Okyeman Educational Fund on Friday at Kyebi, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin observed that good education had become the preserve of the rich in society and warned that "if that trend is not curtailed, children on the streets, who have become liabilities to the state, would continue to increase and the future of the nation cannot be guaranteed." He stressed that the future of the sustenance of the nation and it's status in the international community rested on the children of today, saying, "the children of today must be empowered in every aspect of life to be able to take up that the challenge of nation-building when we have left the scene".
The Okyehene noted with concern that many children were being denied education, "not intentionally, but due to poverty that had engulfed the nation", and urged the privileged in society to look beyond their immediate family members but ensure that others also had the opportunity to be educated. He expressed concern at the current trend of children being exploited to provide means of livelihood for their families and urged parents to sacrifice for the welfare of their children since they would be called to give accounts of stewardship on how they cared for their children.
Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin pointed out that apart from poverty that was not allowing the children to attend school, other practices in homes were not favourable for children and cited for instance, the nutritional proportion in food given to the children at home, noting that "the best part of food supposed to be given to children to grow in sound mind and body to activate their memories were given to fathers who didn't need them for anything."
Explaining the concept of the Fund, the chief of Abomosu, Nana Ameyaw II, said instead of the normal education fund where moneys were solicited to cater for the needy, the Okyeman Fund would rather encourage those who have the means, to adopt and finance the education of children who had been identified to be needy in Okyeman state. He said the Fund, dubbed: "boa baako, boa oman", meaning 'help one child through education, help the nation', had been estimated to help educate about 800 needy children from basic through the university level. He called on all to support the programme by adopting a child from the fund to realise the goal of education.
Launching the Fund, the Gyasehene of Okyeman, Osabarima Darkwa Woe II, said the Fund was not only for citizens of Okyeman, but all children who were being deprived of education due to poverty. Later, some companies who were operating in Okyeman, presented cheques of various amounts including the Ghana Oil Development Company (GOPD) at Kwae, 100 million cedis, S.K Owusu Timbers at Begoro, 50 million cedis, Logs and Lumber Ltd Kyebi, 10 million cedis and the Cocoa Marketing Board (CMB) also gave out a cheque for 10 million cedis in support of the fund.