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15.06.2005 Regional News

Child labour, lack of parental control affecting schooling in Ho


Matse (V/R), June 15, GNA - The mass use of young people as farm labourers, combined with lax parental control, has affected teaching and learning in schools in six communities in the Ho Municipality, a survey by Future Generations International (FUGI) has indicated. The communities are Matse, Ziavi, Klepe-Demete, Hoviefe, Sokode-Gborgame and Sokode-Ando.

Mr Stephen Awunyo-Akaba, Executive Director of FUGI, a Ho based NGO, said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) during a durbar to mark World Day Against Child Labour in the Ho Municipality at Matse.

He listed stone cracking, cola picking, making of pestles and mortars and petty trading among other forms of work done by children in the area and said these prevented them from attending to school work assiduously.

Mr Awunyo-Akaba said also prevalent was the migration of girls to Lome in the Republic of Togo to hawk.

Mr Samuel Akoto, the Assistant Headmaster of the Roman Catholic School Complex, corroborated the FUGI report, saying the situation was particularly serious on the onset of the farming season where lethargy among pupils was evident during class hours.

He blamed the situation on the general economic hardships in the country and parent's lack of insight about the preponderance of education over other needs.

The durbar was preceded by a procession of basic and junior secondary school pupils through the town with placards, some of which read "Parents Have Child Friendly Homes," "Child Labour Must Stop," and "Children Do Not Waste Efforts of your Parents".

Mr Kudzo Krakani, the Assembly Member of the Matse and Lume Electoral Area, said the Ho Municipal Assembly was bracing up to round up video centre operators who allowed un-accompanied under-aged children into their theatres.

He said parents of such children would be pursued and sanctioned while recalcitrant children would be sent to reformatory homes.