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Odumase pupils call for increment of school feeding ration

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Pupils at Odumase in  Sunyani West District of the Brong Ahafo Region, on Thursday appealed to school authorities to ensure an increase in the quantity of food provided them under the Ghana School Feeding programme.

The pupils made the appeal in an open forum at the launch of the Ghana Child Abuse Prevention Programme (G-CAPP), an initiative of Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF), a Sunyani-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), at Odumase.

The pupils were unanimous that because of the introduction of the feeding programme some parents refuse to give their children money to buy food in school.

Joyce Obeng, one of the pupils said: “The food they serve us in school is too small to sustain us during school hours.”

Mr Alex Ansu, Head of Inspectorate at the District Office of the Ghana Education Service advised parents to collaborate with the school authorities in the training and upbringing of their children.

He expressed concern that some parents refuse to provide their children with their basic needs and leave them at the mercy of school heads.

“Majority of parents, especially the men, will not attend. Parent-Teacher Association meetings and this attitude has inadvertently led to increasing truancy among pupils.”

Mr Ansu stressed the need for parents to support teachers to instil a high level of discipline among their children, who he said are assets to the State.

“It is sad to note that some parents in the district do not know the name of the school their children attend or their classes,” he said.

Mr Hammond Oppong Kwarteng, Regional Director of the Department of Children noted that there is no justification for the abuses meted out against children.

He expressed concern about the alarming rate of child neglect, maltreatment and exploitation of minors in the region and appealed to the public to lend their support to bring the situation under control.

Mr Raphael Godlove Ahenu (Jnr), Chief Executive Officer of GLOMEF expressed concern about media reports on injustices against children and stressed the need for concerted efforts to protect them.

He said the main goal of G-CAPP is to create awareness and reach out to opinion leaders and mobilise communities to take a strong stand on violence against children by working with the media to run campaigns to stop the practice, focusing mainly on girls.

Mr Ahenu said under the programme, the NGO would institute community care coalitions and child rights clubs in school whilst an annual conference dubbed: “11/11 conference on child abuse,” would be organised for children to discuss all forms of abuse against them.

He appealed to donors including Action AID Ghana, an NGO, Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, UNICEF and the Regional Co-ordinating Council to support the programme.

Mr Ahenu called on the government and policy makers to put in place pragmatic measures to enforce child right laws and also release adequate resources for activities aimed at promoting the total well-being of children.

“Municipal and District Assemblies as well as traditional councils and religious bodies should also support activities designed to reduce child abuse in Ghana” he stressed.

Source: GNA

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