In today’s edition of THE PUBLISHER is a beautifully written news item by Grace Ablewor Sogbey saying that the government of Ghana, under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is taking steps to rid the streets off children and to give them a better alternative.
This is a brilliant step long overdue and it is sad that successive governments have closed eyes on this alarming national threat of having children who live and grow on the streets with absolutely no plan for their future.
It raises the question of what plans we, as a people, have for the future of this country and the very persons who we expect to become future leaders.
Driving through the streets of Accra, it is very common to find children, some as young as five or six, selling all manner of consumables and running perilously through moving traffic just so as to make enough sales that can keep body and soul together.
These children never leave the streets. They live and grow there from children into pre-teens, then into young adults and eventually into fully fledged adults that have no formal education or certificate, no vocational or technical skills, they are either under employed or completely unemployed and wort of all they are simply unemployable!!!
And oh yes, they give birth to children that end up on the streets with them and the cycle continues.
This is our country. This has been one of our challenges. And it is a very common situation where at almost every corner of our busy roads, a street child can be spotted being wasted away.
It exposes the hypocrisy in our society and among persons who are to enforce and implement policies that are meant to protect children.
Our leaders travel to other countries to have ‘Big English’ conferences where they blab endlessly about a supposed FCUBE in Ghana. At our last check, FCUBE is supposed to mean a system where there is a Free Compulsory, Universal Basic Education.
THE PUBLISHER can state confidently that this is NOT THE SITUATION IN GHANA because in Ghana, the COMPULSORY element of FCUBE is nonexistent!!!
In Accra, just a walking distant from the official seat of government, the Jubilee House, are young children seen selling and begging for alms during school hours almost every other day. If basic education was really compulsory, THE PUBLISHER is sure the parents of those children, would have been made to face the law.
Same is the situation at the environs of the Ministry or Education and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection where just across the streets, children are seen exposed to danger and hustling on the streets during school hours; another evidence that the FCUBE implementation is defective and faulty.
We can only hope and pray that the new steps being adopted by the Akuffo-Addo led Government would yield some genuine and positive change to the situation of street kids in Ghana.