From Sebastian R. Freiku
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Manhyia South Constituency in Kumasi, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, yesterday, observed the ‘My First Day At School’ by touring seven basic schools in his constituency to welcome newly-enrolled pupils to Kindergarten and Primary Class one.
The schools he visited include K.O. Methodist Primary, St. Joseph Roman Catholic Experimental, Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem Basic, Odumasi Extension Basic, New Tafo/Dichemso Metro Authority, Dichemso M/A and St. Annes Anglican Basic.
The MP, who is the Minister of Education, in the company of the Regional Director of Education, Mrs. Mary Owusu Achiaw, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Country Director, Madam Anne-Claire Dufay, distributed mini school bags, exercise books, slates and crayons to the new pupils.
The pupils were screened by health personnel to detect defects in sight and Intelligence Quotient among others, as requirements for enrolment, which exercise was supervised by the Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Emmanuel Tenkorang.
Dr. Prempeh encouraged them to adapt to the school environment and study hard to become responsible persons in future.
He said the government had made tremendous improvement in the learning and teaching processes in schools, following the recruitment of about 56,000 well-trained teachers to ensure effective teaching and learning to make the difference.
The Minister was worried that some of the new pupils were over aged, and announced that the government would embark on an advocacy programme – Right of enrolment at the right time – to ensure that children are enrolled in schools at the right age and time to correct the lapse.
According to him, at least, four and five year old children ought to be in Kindergarten One and Two (KG 1 and 2) respectively, while Class One pupils must be six years of age
The Regional Education Director cautioned old pupils not to intimidate the new pupils, but encourage them to stay in school.
The UNICEF Representative in Ghana, Madam Anne-Claire Dufay, said Ghana was committed to the rights of the child, hence, the need to encourage the enrolment of new pupils at the right age.