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22.09.2005 General News

Deprived areas register low enrolment - Accra Mayor

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Accra, Sept 22, GNA - Mr Stanley Adjiri Blankson, Mayor of Accra, on Thursday said enrolment figures in schools in deprived areas particularly Bukom, Nima and Chokor in the Metropolis was not as high as expected.

He, therefore, appealed to parents, opinion leaders, Wulomei, Imams and church leaders to be very vocal in their condemnation of parents, who still abused their children by denying them basic education. Mr Adjiri Blankson said: "However poor we are; we pay tax and it is only foolhardiness to deny your child such God-given opportunity for free education," he said.

Mr Adjiri Blankson was interacting with pupils and teachers of Accra Sempe Primary Schools and Ayalolo Cluster of Schools in the Ashiedu Keteke Sub-Metro as part of activities to mark "My First Day at School Programme".

The Mayor distributed books, pencils, erasers, crayons and visors to primary class one pupils to welcome them to school.

He said the surest way to get out of poverty was through education, which was the only visa that opened the barriers to prosperity. The Mayor noted that the world was increasingly becoming a global village and highly competitive and, therefore, parents who missed education, should be ready to attend adult education classes to empower themselves with knowledge to liberate them from ignorance. He said AMA was exploring all available avenues to complement the provision of school uniforms to unfortunate children in deprived areas, adding that this noble gesture could be encouraged if parents became dedicated in sending their children to school.

On what AMA was doing to expand school infrastructure, Mr Adjiri Blankson said negotiations were on going with land owners so that AMA could acquire land and use them to build schools in order to reduce the pressure on the few available, especially around the Korle Lagoon area. He expressed worry about the number of children, who might not be enrolled in school because of limited classrooms, adding; "we are finding it difficult to get lands to build schools. If property owners could give us some of their unused land within the Metropolis it would help a lot because getting land outside the Metropolis means moving children too far off which most parents were very sceptical about and would not release their children."

At Ayalolo One JSS, Mr Adjiri Blankson presented 600 copies of free textbooks to the school.