Children urged to report teachers who sexually assault them for prompt action
Children urged to report teachers who sexually assault them for prompt action Website
Pupils were on Thursday urged to report teachers who sexually assault them to either their parents or any leader in their community for prompt action to be taken since such an act was a crime. Perpetrators of such inhuman act would be interdicted and prosecuted Mrs Hilda Eghan, National HIV/AIDS Co-ordinator of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports said this on Thursday in Accra. Answering a concern raised by a child during a day's Meet the Media and Policy Makers, which offered a platform for children of the Global Movement For Children (GMFC) to interact directly with the media and policy makers, Mrs Eghan expressed regret that there had been some cases in which parents of victims had come to plead to settle such cases out of court for fear of stigmatizing the family by the community. "Such teachers must be allowed to face the full rigours of the law and be punished for their inhuman act". The interaction, which formed part of series of activities to increase children's participation and the right to advocate on HIV and AIDS prevention, care for AIDS related orphans and vulnerable children increase was organized by GMFC, Worldaids Campaign, Lesson for Life, Plan Ghana, Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana, World Vision International with support by UNICEF. It was under the theme; "Take the lead. Stop AIDS, Keep the Promise. The Time is Now". Mrs Eghan noted that not only the school girls were being sexually abused by such act were also on the ascendancy of boys and should not be ignored. She noted that out the 2.22 per cent of the national HIV/AIDS prevalence, 30 per cent were of children and were between the ages of 15 to 24 years, which he described as very alarming and called for activities designed for the youth on HIV/AIDS to be intensified. "For us in the Ministry in collaboration with the Ghana AIDS Commission, we have trained all teachers to incorporate the teaching of HIV/AIDS into all subjects taught right from the Primary to the Junior High Schools and our next step would be to engage the children themselves in HIV/AIDS programmes and also empower the communities to be more responsible for these children". The children drawn from 21 communities across the country raised concerns about lack of support for HIV and AIDS vulnerable children by the community and government, cumbersome procedure for adoption, indecent films being showed on various televisions, which they described as contributing to the spread of the virus among the youth and stigmatization against HIV and AIDS orphans. The Deputy Minister of Women and Children's Affairs, Mr Daniel Dugan pledged that the ministry would collaborate with the relevant ministries and agencies in addressing the concerns raised by the children. Mr Dugan called on Ghanaian children to exhibit high sense of morality during and after the Ghana 2008 tournament since morality when held up high could help sustain the efforts in reducing the prevalence. "It has come to our notice that some young girls are warming up to offer sexual services to visitors during this tournament and that I find very dangerous to the efforts we are putting to fight the spread of HIV and AIDS", he added. Ms Akua Dansua, Member of Parliament for Danyi, who represented the policy makers pledged to consult on the cumbersome nature for adoption with the Department of Social Welfare and if it would be necessary to amend the law. She advised to attend first to the needs of their children since their neglect sometimes led to prostitution. "Your little contribution to the success of your children in life will determine your future when you are aged". Professor Sakyi Awuku Amoa, Director-General of GAC, who presided said HIV and AIDS had been a serious problem facing Ghana with stigmatization being the major challenge and noted that the political leadership were not making much noise about the pandemic. The children earlier led by the Deputy Minister for Women and Children's Affairs presented food items to the AIDS victims at the Fevers Unit of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.