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30.10.2003 General News

Sanctions parents for not sending children to school

By GNA
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Accra, Oct .30, GNA - Ms Aba Mansa Folson, Head of the Girls Education Unit of the Ghana Education Service on Thursday said it was time parents who did not send their children especially girls to school were sanctioned.

Ms Folson, who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra also said the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWCA) could also assist by ensuring that under MOWAC's micro-credit scheme, loans were given to women, who would make sure that their children were in school and remained there.

She said the Government needed to take a second look at the compulsory aspect of the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) programme because so many children about the ages of 7 to 10 were still found on the streets selling water and other things. She said with a law in place to enforce the compulsory education of children, it could help to take children off the streets as well as helping the Unit get to know the actual needy child to be sponsored by the District Assemblies.

Ms Forson said although investigations were done to identify needy children that could qualify for sponsorship, it was still possible that some other children, who were the most needy, could be left out in the process.

She said it was not every needy child that could benefit from Government's sponsorship schemes because funds made available might not take care of them all, adding, "we face problems because almost every parent wants to say that he or she was poor and could not take care of the children".

Commenting on the release of eight billion cedis by Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to the Unit, Ms Forson said the Unit was aware that money had been allocated for girls' education but it had not yet reached the Unit.

Ms Forson said any time she interacted with most of these children on the streets, they told her the same story of "my parents are poor and cannot send me to school".

She said although the boys were not left out in their programme the focus on girls was because it was realised that an educated woman would ensure the education of her children.

She said the impact of children on the street was felt more by the girls than boys since most at times girls were used by either their parents or guardians to look for money for the family whilst boys found on the streets were there striving to do their own businesses.

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