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General News of Thursday, 7 February 2008

Source: GNA

Trafficked children now go to school

Sadzikope (V/R), Feb. 7, GNA - Some trafficked children employed to weave kente at Sadzikope, a settler community in the Hohoe District, now combine the weaving with schooling.

The children, many of them below the age of 15 years, now go to school in the morning and do weaving after school hours. This followed a directive from the Volta Regional Directorate of the Department of Children that the children should be enrolled in school.

Mr George Adenya, an opinion leader in the community, confirmed to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday that majority of master-craftsmen had sent their "employees" to school and provided school uniforms for them. However, a source in the community told the GNA that few master-craftsmen were yet to comply with the directive. Master Agorso Dodzi, a 15-year old boy who refused to mention where he had been trafficked from, said he was back in school. "I love to be in school," he added.

He however said he was missing "work" badly because he could make between GH¢300 and GH¢400 a month by weaving kente. Meanwhile, a Junior High School in the community has remained closed due to low enrolment.

Mr Samuel Joy Darko, Assistant District Director of Education, said at the time of the closure, the School had only nine students, far below the 20 required by the Ghana Education Service. He said the District Directorate had held several fora with the community to normalize the situation but to no avail, hence the decision to shut down the school. He said the nine students were transferred to a school in a nearby village.

Mr. Edwin Gamadeku, Volta Regional Director of Department of Children, expressed worry about the situation and said his outfit would continue to sensitize the community on the need for children to go to school.

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