Banawa/Kata (N/R), April 5, GNA - A 13-year-old girl could not get access to Primary One because she did not possess a birth certificate, which the school authorities had demanded. Miss Hawawu Imoro, who hails from Banawa/Kata Community in the West Mamprusi District, said she had her dream of becoming a nurse shattered when she was refused admission into Primary One because she had no birth certificate.
She said her parents acquired a birth certificate for her but it got lost when her father re-roofed his thatch house. Her parents are now preparing her for marriage as the only alternative left for her in life.
Miss Imoro told a durbar of chiefs and people at the inauguration of a 71 million-cedi classroom block constructed by the School For Life, a Danish NGO, at Banawa/Kata on Thursday.
She said the practice of demanding birth certificate by the school authorities was contributing to the high illiteracy rate among children in the area.
The SFL is dedicated to providing functional literacy classes for children, mostly in the rural communities who do not have access to basic education.
Miss Imoro, who did not mention the school that refused her admission, said many other children had suffered the same fate because the acquisition of a birth certificate had now become a requirement for the admission of children into school.
She appealed to the government and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to review the policy to allow rural children to have access to basic education to unearth their talents to help develop the nation. "It is never the fault of our parents that they did not acquire birth certificates for us because some of them have not heard of birth certificate and did not also have access to any birth and death registry in the district".
Miss Imoro said however, that her hope of being a nurse had been rekindled when she was enrolled in the "School For Life Literacy Programme," after which she would have the chance of gaining admission into primary school to continue her education. She described the SFL programme as " the rescuer of the unfortunate ones" whose future she said could be jeopardized because of poverty and ignorance of their parents.
Dr. Abubakar Al-Hassan, Chairman of the Ghanaian-Danish Community Association (GDCA) in reaction, appealed to the GES to give concession to rural people who had not acquired birth certificates for their children to be admitted into basic school. He said: "Ghana is one country, but the North needs special concession when it comes to implementing some educational policies." "We would be destroying the future of the rural children if we want to use birth certificates as a requirement for admission of children into basic schools".
He called on people in the Northern Region to learn to do things to help themselves to enhance the development of the area in particular and the country as a whole.
"We should not allow economic, political and social circumstances to hold us hostage to the detriment of development," he said. Mr. Nabila Sulemana, West Mamprusi District Chief Executive, commended the SFL for providing literacy classes to children who hitherto would have not got any education.
He appealed to members of the community to take good care of the school and ensure that their children were enrolled into the programme to justify the investment the SFL had made.
The Member of Parliament for the area, Mr. Iddrisu Alidu , wondered what would have been the fate of the large numbers of children who would not have had the benefit of the SFL programme. Source: