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Sat, Oct

Need to appreciate education

Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh

It is often said that giving children formal education is the best legacy parents, guardians and, indeed, nations can bequeath to the future generation.

Although many parents forgo so much comfort in life to ensure that their children have access to education, the cycle of poverty and illiteracy, unfortunately, seems to persist in many rural communities in many developing countries, including Ghana.

In this 21st century, one expects parents to do all in their power to enrol their children in school and ensure that the children stay in school at least till they complete basic education.

From the beginning of the next academic year in September, the free senior high school education policy will be implemented and it is hoped that all children in our beloved country will, at least, obtain high school education.

It is, therefore, unfortunate that a high number of girls in three mining districts in the Ashanti Region are falling to teenage pregnancy as a result of the activities of ‘galamsey’ in the areas which have enabled the men there to have access to money to lure the girls into sex. (See story on Page 3.)

Research conducted in the mining districts by Good Governance Africa (GGA) also revealed that the activities of illegal miners in the area were negatively affecting school attendance, as well as the performance of pupils and students.

The behaviour and the pattern of activities of the children in the districts are obvious, as students who do not appreciate the value of education will be enticed by money, especially when their parents are unable to provide for them and those parents hardly see the importance of many years of education.

It is, therefore, crucial that the district assemblies, armed with such information, should immediately intervene and link up with schools in their jurisdictions to monitor the attendance of pupils to ensure that no child unduly absents himself or herself from school.

If the cycle of illiteracy and poverty must be overcome, there is the need for structured interventions by parents, state agencies and organisations to save children from destroying their future.

Such interventions, over time, can arrest the problem and turn around the problem, since children who appreciate the importance of education will themselves work hard to stay in school and perform creditably.