LET’S PROTECT THE CHILD

Ghana has numerous pieces of legislation for child care and protection. We are always first to ratify international conventions for the protection of the child but in practical terms, the implementations of the policies and other legislation have been a big challenge.

Our children are our future. So therefore, society must adequately prepare them, equip them with the skills, knowledge and right attitudes for national development and protect them in their formative years. So that they can grow in safer environment and in confidence, and they can always raise the flag of Ghana high wherever they are, through the exhibition of such cherished traits as sense of nationalism, patriotism, care for the elderly, respect for national symbols, honesty, integrity.

Unfortunately, many children face different challenges, particularly in their efforts to assessing education.

The Ghanaian Times carried a report in our previous edition of the death of two children who were hit by a fallen wall of their classroom, which apparently was not well- fortified due to lack of supervision from building experts.

In another report, we published the story of the cruel murder and cutting of the head of a child at Bogoso, in the Western Region, apparently for ritual purpose.

The boy was alleged to have met his untimely death after school authorities sacked him that day together with others from school for non-payment of school fees.

It has become a common practice in some schools, especially private schools to unilaterally resort to driving children away from school, when they default in the payment of school fees.

Some of these children become distraught and cross streets back home “absent minded”, especially in urban towns and are sometimes knocked down by impatient drivers.

Recently again, during a rainfall in Accra, another school child around Kaneshie died after she was alleged electrocuted by a live wire left unprotected at a construction site. She was on her way to school.

The question is why should our younger ones go through these hazards in accessing education, a key determinant of their future and the future of this country?

Commercial “trotro” driver mates will take all pesewas from these children when they patronise their services to school. Some drivers and their mates have no compassion for a school child who has few coins short of the lorry fare and cannot pay for the trip.

Other road users especially Okada operators callously, exhibit wanton disregard for road safety measures such as Zebra Crossings, ignore the pleas of  school children who often have to go down on their knees to appeal to motorists to stop for them to cross the roads to and fro school.

Society must wake up to its responsibility in the care and maintenance of the child for their general well-being and to guarantee the future of the country.

Child care, maintenance and protection are a shared responsibility. The family, the school, the religious bodies and civil society organisations must work harder to grow our children, by religiously enforcing the child care protection policies and legislations.

It is needless to point out that children are the future; we must all take good care of them.

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