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14.02.2006 Regional News

School children gambling in Sunyani

By GNA

Sunyani, Feb. 14, GNA - Education delivery at the basic level in the Sunyani Municipality has been hit by a new phenomenon of the active involvement of primary school children in lotto staking.

Investigations conducted by the GNA in some parts of the municipality to find out how primary school children spent their time after school hours and during weekends revealed that, pupils aged between 13 and 16 years were actively engaged in the gambling activity. Pupils spotted at the lotto kiosks and other places defied the presence of the elderly, as they staked their numbers, raising serious questions about the level of moral upbringing of school children these days.

One of the pupils, who identified himself as Emmanuel Darko, a 16-year-old class six pupil of the Presbyterian Primary School in Sunyani, when asked what he would use the money for, if he won, said he would purchase shoes with it.

He had just staked 2000 cedis worth of the National Weekly Lotto. Darko, who stays with a senior brother said, he was encouraged by the brother to stake the lotto and that he did it quite often. "My brother encouraged me to stake although he gives me 5000 cedis each day for school," Darko stated.

When contacted, authorities of the Presbyterian and the Anglican schools, whose pupils were found to be actively involved in the gambling expressed deep shock and promised to conduct investigations into the matter and address the problem.

The Public Relations Officer of the Municipal Directorate of Education, who spoke on grounds of anonymity, also expressed great worry about the situation.

He blamed the guardians and parents of such pupils, whom he said might have influenced the children by their own lifestyles. The PRO, however, gave the assurance that the directorate would take up the issue, pending the availability of sufficient facts. 14 Feb. 06

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