Sekondi, March 4 - GNA- Madam Sophia Horner-Sam Deputy Western Regional Minister said parents should not underestimate the value of the Early Childhood Development Centres (ECDC).
She said such centres assist children to develop the requisite reading, writing and speech skills needed for formal education. Madam Horner-Sam said these at the eight Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan Pre-schools Independence anniversary parade at the Sekondi Methodist Park.
The ceremony, which was interspersed with gymnastics, acrobatics, singing of patriotic songs, cultural displays and brisk marching pupils and their teachers, forms part of the 48th national celebrations of the Independence celebrations which falls on March 6.
Madam Horner-Sam said it was dangerous for parents to keep their wards at home or teach them trading during their tender ages. "You could enrol them in ECDC within your communities or the market while you go about your duties," she stressed.
Madam Horner-Sam called on parents, teachers and school management committees to work closely to ensure unity among them and a high standard of training for their children.
"The nation's future depends on the educated children and we would be doing ourselves harm if we continually ignore ECDC or refuse to enrol our children in them," she added.
Madam Horner-Sam commended teachers for their devotion to duty and urged them to give of their best for the sake of the children and the nation.
Mr. Philip Kwesi Nkrumah, Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan Chief Executive said there was the need for a liberation of the minds of Ghanaians.
He said the Ghanaians could not continue to look up to foreigners and adopt their lifestyles and cultures to the detriment of local cultural practices.
Mr. Nkrumah said all Ghanaians should work hard and portray their cultures wherever they find themselves, adding, "the assembly would make budgetary allocation for ECDC in the metropolis.
Mr. Benjamin R. Ofori, an Administrative and Finance officr at the metropolitan directorate of education said a lot of children could be assisted if they are enrolled in the ECDCs.
He appealed to teachers to use instructional hours properly, while serving as role models for the children in character and in dressing. Mr. Ofori said the metropolitan assemblies, churches and parents should devote special attention to the development of the ECDC. The parade was attended by teachers and pupils selected from 32 public and private schools within the metropolis.