The National Programme for the Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour in Cocoa (NPELC), has commenced needs assessment on children that were selected through the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System (GCLMS).
The needs assessment will inform the distribution of school materials like uniforms, sandals, pencils, pens, erasers and mathematical sets to 1300 vulnerable children in cocoa growing communities.
The NPECLC, a programme under the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations dedicated to fighting the worst forms of Child Labour in cocoa growing communities, embarked on a field visit to twenty-five (25) communities to conduct the needs assessments on the identified children. The exercise was conducted from May 26, 2014 to June 15, 2014.
A pilot project conducted under the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System (GCLMS) in five (5) districts and twenty five (25) communities identified two thousand eight hundred and fifty eighty(2,858) children as being in worst forms of child labour or at risk of being in child labour. There was therefore the need to conduct needs assessment towards the distribution of materials procured for the selected children.
The objectives of the exercise were to ascertain the number of vulnerable school children who needed basic school materials and also the number of children who were above school age and needed to be supported with vocational skills training.
At the end of the exercise, a total number of 1,811 children were assessed. It was found out that 68 per cent representing 1,235 children needed basic school materials, 1 per cent representing 13 children needed to be put into vocational skills and 31 percent representing 563 children who should not be supported. One of the main reasons why 31 per cent of the children require no support is that, their parents have become more responsible towards their (children) education and thus provided all their basic needs.
Furthermore, some of these children were either out of the community or were 18yrs and above.
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu, will be presenting the materials to vulnerable children later this month.