27.05.2005 Regional News

International Needs organises drama competition on child prostitution

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Accra, May 27, GNA - Mrs Marian Adum-Atta, School Health Education Co-ordinator of the Accra Metro Education Directorate, on Friday called for responsible parenting, especially in the provision of the needs of their daughters to prevent them from being lured into prostitution. She said the current upsurge in new cases of HIV/AIDS infections among the youth was greatly due to parental as well as societal negligence that had resulted in the high state of indiscipline among the youth. Mrs Adum-Atta made the call during an inter-school drama competition on Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, for six selected basic and first cycle institutions in the Ablekuma South Metro.

The programme, which was organised by the International Needs, Ghana, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), was aimed at sensitising both the youth and the old on the dangers of child prostitution and trafficking. Mrs Adum-Atta said the current HIV/AIDS prevalent rate of 3.8 percent strongly called for re-strategising and designing programmes that were geared towards influencing behavioural change in the youth.

She said society was partially to be blamed for failing to fulfil its role as a guide for the youth.

She lamented over the fact that some parents could sell their children out to strangers for small sums of money, while others looked on unconcerned as their children succumbed to peer pressure and indulged in unacceptable social vices.

She appealed to community leaders to ensure that all children of school going-age were enrolled in school to ensure a secured future for the nation.

Mrs Angelina Kwarteng, Project Officer of the International Needs indicated that the script of the winning school would be polished up, so that they could be used as inserts during workshops and seminars. At the end of the competition the Accra Royal Junior Secondary School (JSS) emerged winners with 79.5 points, Gbegbeise JSS came second with 63.5 points and Happy Days International JSS placed third with 59.5 points.

The fourth position went to Korle-Gonno Methodist 'A' JSS, which scored 38 points and Odartey-Lamptey JSS placed fifth 36 points while Accra Sempe Primary School, the only primary school that participated in the competition had 23 points.

Each school was presented with a wall clock, posters on child prostitution and a certificate of participation, while the winning school had a cash prize of 200,000 cedis in addition.

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