General News of Sunday, 16 July 2017
The Upper East regional branch of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) has sensitized 173 school children from various Junior High Schools in five districts in the Upper East Region and trained 185 patrons on peaceful coexistence, child protection and conflict resolution.
This initiative was by the NCCE and supported by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).
It was necessitated by the numerous protracted conflicts in the region over the years.
The purpose was to inculcate in school children and their communities the need for peaceful coexistence. The Upper East region is on record to have several conflict prone areas in Ghana with reported cases of conflicts ranging from chieftaincy, land disputes, family inheritance and domestic violence.
The region has gained some notoriety for notable conflicts like the Bawku chieftaincy conflict, the Bolgatanga chieftaincy conflict, the airport location issues, the Tindongo and Namolgo land disputes and many other conflicts that have stalled the development of the region.
From these rather unfortunate occurrences, the NCCE in the Upper East region has since 2013 taken it upon itself to embark on sensitization programmes in the region, systematically targeting all junior high schools in the region.
So far the NCCE has trained 173 Junior High School pupils and 185 patrons drawn from more than 40 schools on peaceful coexistence, child protection and conflict resolutions.
The patrons where trained on these subject areas with the hope that they would later impart this knowledge to the pupils in practically simple terms. Teenage pregnancy which also happens to be worryingly high in the region was taken up as one of the topic of concern.
Additionally, the programme trained 29 community members in four districts namely Bawku Municipality, Bawku West District, Builsa North District and Garu Tempane District as part of efforts by NCCE to make sure the region is conflict free. The ultimate aim of the programme is to impact the values of peace building from patrons to school children.
The Upper East regional Director of NCCE, Pontius Pilate Apaaby Baba, said the NCCE has since 2013 chalked considerable success despite limited resources. He therefore urged parents to also contribute their quota by way of concentrating on educating their children so as to increase awareness of peace building, child protection and conflict resolution.
A patron at Winkongo Junior High School, Asokiyine Emmanuel, said the training is making impact in the various schools that have been beneficiaries of the programme because pupils live peacefully and share ideas on peace building.
He therefore called for support for NCCE to reach more patrons and children.
The circuit supervisor for Gbeogo Yinduri in the Talensi District applauded the efforts of NCCE and called for more collaboration from stakeholders to make the programme beneficial to all citizens. TV3 news visited some beneficiary schools with officials of NCCE to monitor and evaluate the impact of the training on pupils. The NCCE officials were satisfied with what they saw in the schools as pupils engaged themselves in fun games that facilitated their learning of peaceful coexixtence, child protection and conflict resolution. The officials urged them to learn more.