The government of Ghana through the Ministry of Education is to launch an initiative to encourage parents and guardians on the need to send their wards to school at the right age.
Dubbed: “Right Age of Enrollment”, the initiative will engage opinion leaders, parents and guardians to enroll their kids at the right age.
Studies have shown that over 629,000 over and under-aged children are sitting in kindergarten classrooms across the country.
In the latest study by the Ministry on right age of enrollment, it was found that school authorities put over-aged children in kindergarten causing among others, unnecessary congestion.
According to the study, in some schools, seven-year-olds sit in the same class with four-year-olds which leads to a difficulty in instruction.
Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh says the situation is a worrying trend and must be corrected.
“…There are lots and lots of pupils above the age of Kindergarten and Primary 1 that are turning up for school for the first time. That is a bit worrying but it is better to be in school than out of school”.
It is not very exciting to have a seven-year-old coming to KG 1 or 2. We hope four-year-olds can get into KG 1, five-year-olds can get into KG 2, six-year-olds will be in Primary 1 in that order”, he noted.
The sector Minister who doubles as MP for Manhyia South made these observations when he embarked on a tour of some schools in the Constituency as part of this year’s ‘My First Day at School’ programme on Tuesday, September 10, 2019.
The Minister spent most of his time with new entrants at K.O Methodist Cluster of Schools, St. Joseph R/C Primary and Odumasi Extension M/A Basic School.
The rest included; New Tafo Dichemso, Dichemso and the Afia Kobi M/A Basic Schools.
The Education Ministry also collaborated with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) through the Health Ministry to screen the new entrants at the basic schools as part of the My First Day at School event.
Health officers have also been deployed to basic schools across the country to screen the pupils medically.
Ashanti Regional Director, Dr Emmanuel Tenkorang said the exercise focused on checking their mental, eye, ear, weight and nutrition status.
He said the program will be sustained and replicated in subsequent years.
The Ministry also partnered the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in organizing the annual event.
The Education Minister, representatives of UNICEF and the Regional and Metro Directors of the Ghana Education Service (GES) in the Ashanti Region distributed branded “My First Day at School” bags and other educational materials to pupils.
By J. Ofori, Daily Mail GH