Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah, Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs (MOWAC) has observed that even though quality education was a fundamental human right, it remained a distant dream for many children in the world.
Making the observation in address read on her behalf at this year’s Day of the African Child celebration in Tema on Thursday, Mrs Azumah-Mensah pointed out that the single greatest stumbling block to the achievement of quality education for children in the world was poverty.
The Day of the African Child has become an important annual calendar event for African Union member states to reflect, sensitise and strategise on current issues affecting the welfare and development of children on the Continent.
The Day also seeks to draw the attention of all actors involve in improving the conditions of African children, and to unite their efforts to improve their living conditions.
This year’s celebration which marks the 21st anniversary of the Day had: “Address the Rural-Urban Education Challenges of Our time The Role of Stakeholders,” as its theme.
The MOWAC Minister said in many rural communities on the African Continent where poverty was endemic a lot of children were not enrolled in school.
She expressed regret that some of the enrolled children ended up terminating or abandoning their education when they faced financial difficulties.
Mrs Azumah-Mensah was of the view that quality education was not only about enrolment, but also about retention and completion.
She said since the implementation of the Ghana’s educational reform programme in 1987 considerable efforts have been made by successive governments to improve access to education for all children.
She charged stakeholders in education to collectively provide teaching and learning materials for schools to ensure that children were given the chance to excel.
The Minister reminded stakeholders of their over-riding role to ensure that all children in the country had access to quality education.
Mrs Georgina Asare, Tema Metro Officer at the Department of Social Welfare in charge of Child Rights Promotion and Protection, underscored the need to develop the human potential of the nation by starting from the child.
Mrs Asare expressed regret that the number of irresponsible parents within the metropolis kept rising day-by-day.
She therefore called for financial and logistic support, to enable the Department to execute its numerous education programmes on the responsibilities of parents towards their children.
Ms Kafui Amegah, Climate Change Ambassador of the Environmental Health Club, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) called for clean environment in schools to promote good health for children.
Mr Frank Ebo Mensah, Project Director of the Positive Mindset International, an NGO urged government to provide the citizenry with the basic social amenities.
Mr Mensah also stressed the need for parents to inculcate right attitudes in their wards in order for them to grow into responsible adults.
Two NGOs, Abibiman Foundation and the International Day of the African Child and Youth – Ghana Coalition jointly put together the activities for the occasion.