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Regional News of Saturday, 9 March 2019

Source: starrfm.com.gh

Pupils attend school in tattered dress as government stops free uniform policy

Some school Pupils in the West Akyem Municipality of the Eastern Region regularly absent themselves from school due to lack of befitting school uniforms.

Some, however, defy the odds and the embarrassment of donning tattered uniforms just to be educated shying away from outdoor school activities including the just held 62nd Independence Day anniversary.

This, according to some teachers and circuit supervisors in the Municipality, demoralizes the pupils and affect their academic performances.

The previous government in 2009 introduced free school uniform policy as a social interventionist programme in education, with the aim to reduce the cost of education and support needy pupils in deprived public basic schools across the country to complement the Free Compulsory Basic Education (FCUBE) policy.

The programme, however, has been stopped by the current government.

Some parents in Asuokaw, Mepom and Asuotwene, all farming communities in the municipality told Starr News, they are unable to afford uniforms for their children due to hardship.

They are therefore calling on the government to reintroduce the free school uniform policy to unburden them.

“My child’s uniform tore since last year but even what to eat is a problem so I have not been able to sew one for him, sometimes he doesn’t want to go to school at all. I have to beg him,” one of the parents said.

To address this challenge, a philanthropists who doubles as Reverend Minister of the Ebenezer Congregation of the Presbyterian Church-Mepom near Adeiso, Christian Fetor Tsormana in collaboration with a faith-based interdenominational group, Power of Prayer Evangelistic Team donated 200 pieces of school uniforms to some selected needy pupils in three schools in the Municipality—Asuokaw, Mepom and Asuotwene Presbyterian Basic Schools.

“Before embarking on this project, we visited some schools to research the impact of what they wear on their academic performance and we realized psychologically those whose parents are not able to afford them uniforms or wear torn uniforms have low morale.

“Their teachers told us they even feel shy to come to school because their colleagues will laugh at them that is why we are embarking on this project,” Rev. Fetor Tsormana said.

He is, therefore, appealing for more support to help cover more schools in the municipality to serve as an incentive to children from poor homes to attend school noting that education is the only weapon they can use to break away from the quagmire of poverty.