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07.09.2005 General News

"My First Day at School Restival" launched

GNA

Accra, Sept. 7, GNA - The Ghana Education Service has released 47.5 billion cedis to public schools nationwide to cover the first half of the 2005/6 academic year, Ms Elizabeth Ohene, Minister in charge of Tertiary Education announced on Wednesday.

She said the amount was part of the Capitation Grant of 95 billion cedis released by the Government in a bid to improve access, increase enrolment and retention figures in the academic year. "The other half of the money will be released as soon as the new figures for enrolment are made available after schools re-open for the new academic year", she said.

Ms Ohene said this at the launch of the "First Day at School Festival" to be celebrated on Tuesday September 13, where a number of new pupils were expected to be enrolled in public schools all over the country.

The festival is aimed at making the first day at school a memorable one for the children as well as to make communities more involved in school activities.

Children would be welcomed with caps, sweets, chocolates and biscuits amidst merry making with brass band music and cultural displays.

Ms Ohene said paucity of financial resources to settle fees and levies should not be the reason why any child should be deprived of an education.

"Parents and guardians of children who are of age six and above who are not currently enrolled in school should go out in their numbers on September 13, 2005 to enrol their wards as well as register with the Parent Teacher Associations of their ward's schools," she stressed. She said all over the world, the first day at school was a well-celebrated event and it aimed not only at welcoming new pupils to the world of formal education but also engaged communities to get more involved in school affairs.

Ms Ohene said it was the Ministry's belief that any child irrespective of school, circumstance or background, by stepping into a classroom had the chance to achieve the highest aspiration.

"No dream is beyond any child once that child is made to take advantage of the opportunity to go to school. The only stumbling block to achieving one's full potential is either not to attend school or drop-out of school entirely", she said.

Ms Ohene, therefore, urged the public especially community members to visit the schools on Tuesday, taking the children sweets, biscuits and anything nice to make their first day at school a memorable one.

She sad it was rather unfortunate that after the mid-term stock taking early this year finding had indicated that 20 per cent of school-going age children were still outside the classroom. "This state of affairs calls for extra measures to be put in place to help mop up those outside into the school system," Ms Ohene said.

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