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29.09.2005 Regional News

District assemblies urged to help integrate street children

By GNA
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Dodowa (E/R), Sept. 29, GNA - The Dangme West District Chief Executive, Mr Michael Adjowerh-Nortey on Thursday urged assembly members to help to identify "children in need" in their communities to benefit from the government's Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education. He noted that many citizens lived in abject poverty and were confronted with various deprivations resulting in a number of displaced children.

There was, therefore, the need for such children to be identified and given the needed training and basic education in line with the goals of the Street Academy to ensure their well-being. Mr Adjowerh-Nortey said this when he donated five million cedis to the Accra Street Academy when the pupils and social staff members interacted with members of the District Assembly at its Ordinary meeting at Dodowa on Thursday.

Mr Richard Oblitei Solomon, a Patron of the Street Academy, who accompanied the students urged the Assembly members to adopt measures that would help in eradicating the issues confront children and push them into streetism.

He said the Academy had been able to admit more than 1,000 pupils off the streets into formal education and appealed for support from corporate bodies and the District Assemblies to ensure that the 'displaced children' were given the needed attention to acquire some education and training.

Mr Solomon said with the implementation of the government's FCUBE programme there was no justification for children to be loitering in the streets adding that the opportunities offered should be an impetus for all especially parents to enrol their children in school. The Presiding Member of the Assembly, Nene Tetteh Afutu II called on the Street Academy to ensure that children from the other Districts of the Region were identified and given the needed support saying that attention should not be concentrated only on pupils from Accra. Nene Afutu said child delinquency was not only concentrated in the cities and as such the Academy should widen the scope to assist many more children.

Mr Ataa Lartey, Director of the Academy, said the school had a programme to contact the various District Assemblies to assist in identifying children, who needed assistance to acquire basic education and other training schemes.

He said the Academy would be admitting 42 children next week as part of its 'First Week in School' Programme.

Mr Lartey said the visit to Dangbe West District forms part of the Academy's outreach programme to sensitise the people on the school's programme and to find ways of co-operation and how best to assist the children on and off the streets.

The District Social Welfare Officer, Mr Peter Tweneboah-Kodua stressed the need for the re-integration of such children into the main fabric of the society by linking them with their family members after training.

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