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18.10.2005 Regional News

Agortorme is blessed with a school

By GNA
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Agortorme (VR), Oct. 18, GNA - Agortorme, a farming community near Agbozume in the Ketu District of the Volta Region, has been blessed, for the first time with a three-classroom basic school block. The credit goes to the International Needs Network (INN) and World Vision, Australia (WVA).

Now at the roofing stage, the facility, which also has an office, a store, a place of convenience and sets of furniture, is expected to exceed its initial 38,000-dollar estimated cost, when complete. INN, formerly International Needs Ghana (ING), in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service (GES) has engaged teachers for the school and has plans of providing a subsidized one hot meal a day for the pupils, a periodic medical outreach programmes for the community and job skills training schemes for the youth and adults. A-day seminar to sensitise the community on the essence of education of children, particularly the girl-child and ways for the community to uplift itself from poverty and want, was held by INN at Agortorme on Monday.

Mrs. Patience Vormawor, Deputy Director, INN, cautioned the parents against the practice of allowing cultural and religious influences, as well as the lack of parental care to jeopardize the educational career and the qualitative growth of their children. She condemned reports of a recent withdrawal of an eight-year-old girl from the school by her parents and some shrine owners. The child is said to be undergoing initiation in a shrine now, which will last for years.

"It is very bad allowing cultural and religious influences such as initiation of children into fetishes to hamper their educational careers", Mrs. Vormawor said.

"We hope these practices, common in parts of this country will stop to grant children their rights to grow qualitatively through parental and community support", she added.

Mrs. Vormawor noted that initiation actions for example, the "Trokosi" system and the "Yewe" cult were done when the initiated were too young to fully understand its life-long effect on them, saying, "they would have rejected them, were they matured."

Mrs. Vormawor advised the parents to grab the opportunities to get their children enrolled in their own interest, and said poverty should no be used as a reason for neglecting children.

Mrs. Kate Mikado, GES Ketu District Director of Girl-Child Education, called for state-parent-community collaboration to guarantee an all-round productive growth for children, through education, saying, "is worth eliminating illiteracy from ones life."

She condemned and advised parents to put a stop to the rising level of child neglect cases in the district and to be concerned with their children's daily lives, the girl-child in particular, so that they do not go astray along the way.

Mr Gilbert Adzraku, Director, Ketu District Secretariat of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), mentioned the human rights enshrined in the 1992 Constitution, including the right of children to derive dignified life and protection from their parents and the state.

Mr Adzraku cautioned that the failure of a parent to provide the needs of the child including accommodation, food, protection, education and health and any form of abuse, are punishable offences, and warned that his outfit would deal with any such parent. 18 Oct. 05

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