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13.09.2005 Regional News

Parents rush to register children

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Accra Sept. 13, GNA - Parents in the Ashalley Botwe area in Accra on Tuesday rushed to the only public school near them to register their children when the programme dubbed "My First Day at School" took off.

As at 0600 some parents had queued at the Ashalley Botwe Primary School premises to register their children, most of whom were girls, Ms Fidelia Krakani one of the Headmistresses of the School, told Dr Richard Anane, Minister of Road Transport, when he visited the school.

The programme dubbed "My First Day at School Festival" was launched on September 7, this year by Ms Elizabeth Ohene, Minister of Education and Sports in Charge of Tertiary Education, to make the first day at school a memorable one for the children as well as to make communities more involved in school activities.

Ms Krakani said as at 1330 hours Tuesday, her school had registered 89 pupils saying, "we need 46 pupils in the each class but from the way things are going, we will be registering more. "Unfortunately we have few facilities to accommodate them." She cited inadequate classrooms, tables and chairs as some of the problems confronting the school.

Me Krakani said the school served Otano; Magor; Old Town; New Town; Japan Motors and Sraha among other areas, which had high population and needed more facilities to accommodate them. She said as the only nearest public school in the area, it could offer more admission to pupils, who might register later.

Ms Krakani noted that the school had vast land in the area but expressed regret that people were encroaching on it and pleaded with the Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service and Tema District Education Office to assist the school with more facilities to provide better services to the various communities.

"If we get the necessary financial support we wo uld be able to fence our school and prevent people from encroaching on our land. We will also be free from people, who break into the classrooms to pass the night." Ms Florence Otwe Opare, one of the Headmistresses, said it had recorded pupils aged 12 years for class one. Ms Beatrice Bentil, a parent who brought her 10-year-old daughter to the school for the first time, expressed her appreciation to the Government for the initiative.

She said it was her colleague, who informed her about the programme.

Addressing the new pupils, Dr Anane said the Government had decided to cancel the payment of school fees at the basic level adding that it wanted to be sure that every child registered to attend school because: "These children are our future leaders. We need to ensure that each of them has access to basic education in order to take over from us." The Minister shared toffees, drinks and visors with the inscription: "My First Day at School" to the pupils.

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