24.05.2005 Regional News

Deaf school to publish names of parents who abandon children

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Hohoe, May 24, GNA - Authorities of the Hohoe School for the Deaf and Mentally Challenged children is to invoke sanctions including the publication in the newspapers of the names and particulars of parents and guardians who abandon their wards in the school. Mr Cudjoe Dzotepeh, the Headmaster of the school, told the GNA in an interview that some parents refuse to take custody of their wards during holidays.

He said it has become the habit of some parents and guardians to leave their wards at the mercy of the school authorities when the school is on recess.

''The latest is the abandonment of seven such pupils (names withheld) who were cared for by teachers of the school.'' Mr Dzotepeh said holidays were meant to refresh the pupils and re-unite them with their families and siblings. ''If they are left on the campus during holidays does that mean they are unwanted?" he asked. He said such mistreatment constituted abandonment and infringement on the rights of such children and this is punishable by law.

Mr Dzotepeh urged parents not to rule out the worth and capabilities of such children because they could be trained and brought up like any other children to contribute their quota to national development.

He said the school has a student population of 246 aged between four and 21 years who enjoyed free tuition, feeding and lodging at the Hohoe-Zongo campus for the deaf and Kledjo campus for the mentally challenged.

Two students' dormitories, a classroom and a dinning hall, are under construction with support from the GETFUND. On problems facing the school, Mr Dzotepeh said though it is adequately staffed with graduates to reflect its specialized nature, staff and student accommodation continued to militate against quality teaching and learning.

Mr Dzotepeh said two of the school's three buses had broken down with the only one on road experiencing frequent breakdowns. The school had to suspend its Information Communication and Technology (ICT) programmes following the breakdown of its computers. Mr Dzotepeh appealed for assistance from individuals, corporate entities, NGOs and the Hohoe District Assembly to improve on conditions in the school.

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