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General News of Wednesday, 29 November 2000

Source: GNA

President Rawlings urges liberation of children from shrines

President Jerry John Rawlings has called on Chiefs and District Assemblies to help liberate children from shrines and other forms of bondage and servitude. He said children should enjoy freedom and the right to education.

These were contained in an address read for him at this year's Head of State National Party for children at Klefe-Atsiatime near Ho. Rawlings said "if we refuse to educate our children now, we shall have a bleak future and we shall consequently be doomed as a nation."

He said it is for this reason that the government promulgated Act 560 for the promotion, protection and safeguarding the rights of children. The President commended district assemblies for establishing sub-committees on children, women and other vulnerable groups to enhance their status.

Mrs Alberta Quartey, Chairperson of the Ghana National Commission on Children(GNCC), said the Commission is reviewing its programmes to improve its services and to help find solutions to other problems such as HIV/AIDS.

She asked the children to appreciate the efforts of the government to protect and enhance their development by "adhering to the provisions of children's rights, attend school, be obedient and to refrain from negative practices".

Togbe Dzaga X, Paramount Chief of Klefe Traditional Area, thanked the government for providing the community with electricity, water and educational infrastructure, which he said are preventing the youth from migrating to the big towns and cities. He appealed to the political party leaders to be circumspect in their pronouncements to avoid tension in the country.

The school children numbering over 2000 were treated with food; biscuits and fruit drinks and took home an exercise book and a pen each. There were cultural performances and role-plays by the children