Farmers Turn Farm Into ‘Pre-Schools’

Farmers at Wortikpo in the Kpetoe-Ziope District have turned their farms into ‘pre-schools’ where they superintended their children to sing and play.

The community has no pre-school, compelling parents to take their children to their farms where they sing and play under trees.

This came to light at a day’s community sensitisation on Early Childhood Care Development (ECCD), organised by the Department of Children of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection at Wortikpo.

The farmers appealed to stakeholders to help establish a pre-school in the community.

The nearest basic school, which has no pre-school, is at Kpetoe, the district capital, about one kilometer from Wortikpo.

Mr Dove Gershon, a community leader, told the Ghana News Agency that the children disrupted farming activities with intermittent cries while playing under the trees.

He said on a few occasions, some of the children got hurt and needed attention and care, necessitating their parents to suspend work on the farm.

Wortikpo is noted for groundnut farming but was said to have been recording low yields in the past five years.

Madam Mary Buabeng, National Co-ordinator, ECCD of the Ministry, underscored the importance of enrolling children in school at the right age so they could learn values which were not available at home.

She said children were supposed to be enrolled in kindergarten at age four and proceed to primary one at age six, where they learnt to interact and play with their age mates.

Madam Buabeng said this helped to detect disabilities early and other diseases in children.

Madam Helena Obeng-Asamoah, Director of the Department of Children, said research indicated that children who were given “good start” in life became responsible adults.

Mr Christopher Lartey, in charge of Programmes and Projects, Department of Children, cautioned parents not to insult or curse their children.

Mr Edwin Gamadeku, Volta Regional Director of the Department of Children, urged the community to start the school while the assembly and other stakeholders came in to help.

Early Childhood Care and Development is described as the provision of a range of services that promote the survival, growth, development and protection of the child.

The focus of ECCD in Ghana had been on the cognitive development, as well as the expansion of ECCD services of the child, which included immunization, weighing and nutrition.

This is seen in the establishment of crèches, day-care centres, nurseries and kindergartens by the Government and private operators to take care of children while their parents go to work.

Children’s Act 1998 (ACT 560) enjoins district assemblies and other decentralised departments to facilitate the establishment of day-care centres and other ECCD institutions.