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01.03.2005 Regional News

1200 JSS dropouts in Kintampo District

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Kintampo (B/A), March 1, GNA - Violation of children's rights has been on the increase in the Kintampo District, leading to 1,200 school children dropping out of junior secondary school. Madam Elizabeth Konadu, Girl Child Education Officer of the Ghana Education Service in the district disclosed this at a one-day stakeholders' workshop for 65 participants drawn from Kintampo, Anyimah, Nyante and Babatukuma communities. The workshop was organized by the Mission of Hope for Society Foundation, an NGO and sponsored by IBIS - Ghana, under the theme "Deepening Democratic Principles - Your Rights, My Rights, Whose Responsibility".

Madam Konadu said the gap between the population of boys and girls at the primary level stood at 19 to 17 and attributed the dropout rate at the JSS level to the practice by some parents to offer their children for early marriages. She said the dropouts had resorted to the sale of ice water and called on the communities, School Management Committees, and the Parent-Teacher-Associations to educate parents on the need to send their children to school and endeavour to look after them.

Mr Gabriel Gbiel Benarkuu, Executive Director of Mission of Hope for Society Foundation said, the NGO is was a human rights activity-based, committed to the advancement of the marginalized people in society, especially to the women and children's rights promotion, education and advocacy for broader participation in decision-making process and economic empowerment. Mr Bernarkuu said the stakeholder's workshop would therefore give the participants the need to understand the project ideas, strategies and the usefulness by bringing departments such as social welfare, traditional leadership, religious bodies, judiciary, administrative justice and other recognized associations to develop common strategies that can promote human rights and democratic principles.

Mr John Bayou Tuoyire, Kintampo District Coordinating Director of the Assembly, who presided, underscored the need for the stakeholders to fill the gap between women and men by empowering them through the recognition of their rights. Mr Tuoyire commended the NGO for its commitment to the promotion of human rights and gave the assurance that the assembly would offer its support in other matters concerning the protection of children and women rights in the district.