The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR), has held an inter-school quiz competition on Child labour for selected schools in the Sekyere East District of Ashanti.
The move forms part of government’s efforts towards the elimination of child labour in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The quiz competition participated by four Junior High Schools (JHS) in the District, a major cocoa growing area in the Country, the Ntunkumso JHS beat its close contestant, the Nkwankwanua JHS, to be the ultimate winner.
The Senchi JHS and Ahensan JHS took the third and fourth positions respectively.
For their prize, the winning and participating schools were given trophies and sets of drums while all the pupils who contested took home educational materials and stationery, such as note and exercise books, mathematical sets, pens, among other gifts.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency on the sideline of the event, Ms. Elizabeth Akanbombire, the Assistant Chief Labour Officer at the MERL said the goal was to test the children’s knowledge in child labour issues, its negative impact on their future development and to inculcate in them their rights and potential to influence their parents to stem the menace.
‘‘The focus is to also strengthen efforts with stakeholders to get children out of the fields and empower them to pursue their lifetime dreams”, she said.
Ms Akanbombire said the MELR partnered the District’s Education Directorate and non-state actors namely, the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), Right to Play and the Sekyere East Cluster Office of World Vision International in Ghana (WVI-G), to organise the quiz.
Held on the theme ‘Consolidating efforts: “Children must work on dreams not in fields!” the event was to highlight the relevance of the theme to this year’s celebration of the World Day against Child Labour.
She said the fight to end child labour, especially, its worst forms demanded the concerted responsibility of all stakeholders notably the government, parents, teachers, community leaders and members, development partners, and Civil Society Organizations, among others.
The Assistant Chief Labour Officer commended national and global partners for their contributions to augment the efforts of government in tackling the menace of child labour especially in the cocoa growing communities.
She further pledged government’s continuous commitment to ensuring that children in the country were always in the classrooms and were not being exploited to work on cocoa farms during contact hours.
Mr. Daniel Adu, the Sekyere East Education Directorate’s Training Officer said measures were being implemented by the Directorate to sustain the initiative in the District.
Mr. Andrews Asamoah, Project Manager of ICI said the focus of ICI was to engage partners to ensure that cocoa growing communities were more conscious of the protection of children against child labour, particularly in the supply chain of cocoa in the country and beyond.
Ms. Florence Darkwah, a Junior High School (JHS) Student and a quiz contestant for the Nkwankwanua JHS, speaking on behalf of the pupils, commended the government and development partners for their support and contributions to the well-being of children.