Rita Owusu, 13, and a class six pupil who sells oranges told, said she stays with her parents and that she was the first of six children. She said her mother had asked her to sell oranges to raise some money to support the family income. Rita said she provided for all her school needs from the trade and so when there was no money she had to stay out of school.
When the Regional Director of the Department of Children, Mr Charles Dontoh, was contacted on the issue he said the Children's Act stipulated that every child of school going age must have access to school without any hindrance. He said equally the law obliged all parents as well as guardians to provide the needs of their children, especially those that border on education so that they did not deny the children their right to at least basic education. Mr Dontoh quoted section 15 of the Children's Act and said any person who contravened it was liable to a court fine not exceeding GHC 500 or a jail term of not more than six months.
He said for reasons of poverty, government had intervened with the capitation grant, free uniforms and feeding and therefore parents had no excuse to use their children for trading at the expense of schooling. Mr Dontoh said his outfit had embarked on education on the need for parents to send their children to school. He appealed to the public to report any parent who deliberately refuses to send her ward to school to the nearest police station.