ABOUT THE CHILDREN
Truancy and absenteeism are major problems. Truancy is very high among children in most poor areas of Ghana. Market days and Fridays especially, register very low turn outs of school children in impoverished areas. Truancy and absenteeism is not limited to only school children but also teachers. The large proportion of female school drop outs is attributed to teenage pregnancy and lack of motivation.
When it becomes necessary for a child to eke out a living by doing odd jobs, going to school becomes only a dream. It is the right of every Ghanaian child to have Free Compulsory Basic Education. The denial of basic education is an Infringement of a child's basic human rights.
Many children meet only 25% of their dietary requirements. Their low calorie intake and malnutrition have grave consequences and include stunting, kwashiorkor, diminished intellectual development or death. Protein rich farm and animal products like milk, beans, groundnuts and eggs are denied to children.
Many Ghanaian children do not have access to adequate food and nutrition although they may be residing with their parents or guardians. The situation is worse for children who are not under parental or guardian care especially street children. The majority of the children who are girls end up as maids and are made to work around the clock. They have little or no time to play or interact with other children.
They are denied education and are subjected to hunger, even though in most cases the young girls prepare most meals.
Many children who are abused suffer emotional and psychological trauma. They may end up as delinquents in the streets of the major cities of Ghana.
Pat Wilkins and Allotey Bruce Konuah of BASICS International
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