School children are absenting themselves from school and were engaging in charcoal business to raise money to buy basic needs, Mr. Francis Sienso, a Public Relations Officer at the Sissala West District Education Directorate told traditional rulers at Gwollu.

school childrenHe said the performance of basic schools at the BECE was appalling, with the district scoring 15 per cent as against 18 per cent for last year.

Mr. Sienso, who was gave the situational challenges of education in the District at the general meeting of the Gwollu Traditional Council at Gwollu, said several schools scored zero per cent at the BECE this year.

But in all of this, poverty among parents and the neglect in the provision of basic needs for children in schools accounted for children’s absenteeism and poor performance at the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), he said.

However, in a rebuttal, a traditional ruler said some teachers were also taking advantage of school children, exploiting their services as labour force on their farms during cropping and harvesting periods.

He said some parents were worried about the attitude of the teachers, noting: “the teachers are cheating parents because we know the importance of farming and yet we send our children to school to come out and help develop Ghana”.

The traditional ruler also blamed the District Directorate of Education for inadequate supervision at the basic school level, which resulted in the exploitation of children’s labour on teachers’ farms.

There has been abysmal performance at the BECE with Wa East District topping the region as the best, scoring 48 percent.

The Sissala West District Police Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mr. Gai Raymond, who was also at the meeting bemoaned the influx of locally manufactured fire arms in the hands of the youth in the communities.

He said the handling of illegal fire arms by the youth was a threat to security, explaining that about five youth arrested in some of the communities said their parents died and left the guns for them.

The District Police Commander said the police are investigating into the circumstances that led to the influx of guns among the youth and appealed to traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the communities to assist the police to unravel the sources of the arms.

The Gwollu Kuoru, Kuri-Buktie Limann, President of the Gwollu Traditional Council called for collaboration between the District Education Directorate and the security agencies as well as the District Assembly to address the issues of education, security and environmental challenges in the area.

He expressed disappointment at the poor performance at the BECE and illegal fire arms in the custody of the youth, saying: these are bad signal, which do not speak well of the District, and all efforts must be made to address them”.

Source: GNA

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