Stories from Sebastian R. Freiku
An advocacy programme, Right Age Enrolment (RAE) campaign, as part of the government’s intervention and commitment to promote the enrolment of all children of four years in the Kindergarten (KG), has been launched in Kumasi.
The campaign, which coincides with the 30th Anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of Children, was sponsored by the United National International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
The UNICEF Representative in Ghana, Madam Anne-Claire Dufay, commended Ghana and the Ghana Education Service (GES) for their commitment to upholding the rights of children.
She explained that the RAE campaign provides the foundation of children’s rights, 90% of whose brains are already developed during the formative years.
Madam Dufay said the RAE would improve literacy and readiness to learn, and, therefore, provides a smart way of investment in the future of children, and encouraged all parents to ensure that all children are enrolled at the KG at age four to secure their future.
The Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, who launched the campaign being supported by the UNICEF, called on parents to take advantage of the policy to secure the future of their children.
He gave the assurance that the government was fully and totally committed to the education of all children, as evidenced in various interventions including the Free Compulsory and Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) and free Senior High School (SHS) to promote education.
According to him, Cabinet had approved resources for early childhood and basic education.
The Minister said the government was committed to injecting resources and increasing KG schools, following which 80 have been established out of 1,171, while 40,000 teachers have been trained to deliver under the new curriculum.
He criticised parents who take their children along with them to the market instead of the school, stressing that it is better for kids to the attend KG with unqualified teachers than taking them to the market.
He stressed that KG education was free, and that parents have no reason not to get their children enrolled, reminding them that KGs should not be considered as duping grounds, but where the future aspirations of the children, considered as invaluable assets, are nurtured.
Dr. Prempeh cautioned teachers against caning, harassment and bullying of children, which, he noted, could scare children away from school.
He said it was not right for teachers to brandish canes in school, let alone enforce corporal punishment, and advised teachers not to fall into the trap by ignoring the directives banning caning in schools.
The Minister also implored teachers to make schools safer for children.
The Regional Director of Education, Mrs. Mary Owusu Achiaw, bemoaned the entry of a large number of children into pre-school after the prescribed age, noting that allowing children to go to school at the right age can make them successful.
The Metropolitan Director of Education, Mrs. Martha Owusu Agyemang, noted that the prime objective of any education administrator was to ensure that children enjoy child-friendly school environments on enrolment at age four, when all their faculties are well developed