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Regional News of Friday, 29 February 2008

Source: GNA

Street Academy renew four-year co-operation with Denmark

Accra, Feb. 29, GNA - The Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, Madam Theresa Ameley Tagoe has called on parents, especially the fisher folks to change their lukewarm attitude towards the development of their children by assisting them to acquire basic education. She said that, when parents are responsible and pay particular attention to the upbringing of the children it would go a long way in reducing the number of children roaming the streets to fend for themselves and irk a living.

Madam Tagoe who said this at the launching of a four-year co-operation pact between the Street Academy and International Child Solidarity of Denmark said the Academy has had a chequered history of hard times but through perseverance, it has survived to cater for the needs of streets children from various communities. She noted that since it is government's policy to offer free education and assistance to children, the support of other stakeholders would be appreciated to ensure children utilize their God giving talents to become useful citizens.

The Deputy Regional Minister said parents have no excuse to deny their children basic education since government has put in place measures such as free supply of uniform, exercise books and other reading materials as well as the school feeding programme to encourage and retain children in school.

Mr Freddie Kristiansen and Madam Grete Lyngso, Secretaries of Projects of International Child Solidarity pledged their continued support to the Street Academy, adding that, it was their aim to ensure improved quality education of the children through sourcing of the needed financial support from the Danish State. Mr Kristiansen said, it is their hope that the collaboration between the Danish group and the Street Academy will make a positive impact and ensure better living conditions and upbringing of the children. Mr Kofi Sarpong, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Street Academy said that the Academy ensures that its products are well placed to fit into the formal school system through teaching and learning and recreational facilities.

He announced that the Academy has plans to encourage single mothers to enroll and acquire the needed training to be self-sufficient while ensuring the development of human resources at the basic level. Mr Sarpong called for assistance and collaboration from NGO's and other corporate bodies to ensure that children from impoverished communities are not left to fend for themselves and to become liabilities to the society.

Mr Ebenezer Amarteifio, Regional Director of Department of Social Welfare said the issue of street children has reached an alarming and dangerous rate with the upsurge of street babies and single mothers in the urban centres.

He therefore called for partnership with all stakeholders to formulate remedial measures to help the disadvantaged in the society to learn a trade or acquire education to contribute towards the socio-economic development of the country.

Mr Ataa Lartey, Director of the Street Academy commended the assistance of various organizations and non-governmental organizations that has assisted the Academy to help in the training of many street children to acquire basic education and other trades and to develop their sporting talents

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