Mr Paul Avorkah, National Director, Department of Community Development has stated that one of the things Ghana has failed to do is to instill discipline among its citizens especially children.
This, he said had become one of the country’s serious development gaps, hence the need to take conscious efforts towards addressing indiscipline among the citizenry especially children.
Mr Avorkah who was speaking during the 2016 child protection annual review meeting in Wa, said child protection was not just a right but also a development challenge which ought to be looked at seriously.
“We are always talking about child rights, but it is not about child rights, rather it is about behaviour and social change and that is why the Child Protection Policy is focused on behaviour change,” he said.
According to Mr Avorkah instilling proper discipline among children would make them grow to become responsible adults who would create a free, fair and just society with equal opportunities for all.
Mr Avorkah hinted that with support from UNICEF some funding and logistics including computers and motor bikes had been secured.
He promised immediate distribution of the resources among staff across the country to aid them to properly execute the Department’s new focus of instilling maximum discipline among children in communities.
Mr Kingsley Boahene, the Acting Upper West Regional Co-ordinating Director, said Community Based Child Protection as a component of the National Child Protection System had become one of the numerous development challenges facing extension workers including non-governmental and governmental institutions.
He said community based organisations undertaking child protection activities in communities were often confronted with the dilemma of which strategy or approach to use to be able to successfully work with communities to achieve meaningful targets towards child protection.
Mr Boahene said in view of this, the government in collaboration with UNICEF and development partners developed a user friendly training manual, which detailed out a simple, easy to understand modules to protect children.
Mr Moses Anabanga, the Regional Director of the Department of Community Development disclosed that the Child Protection Programme was being piloted in five districts across the region namely; Wa Municipal, Lawra, Sissala East, Lambussie and the Daffiama-Bussie-Issa Districts with 10 communities in each district.
He mentioned child marriage, child elopement, teenage pregnancies, and child abuse in schools and families as some of the child protection challenges in the region and highlighted the need to sensitised communities to beware of these challenges and offer solutions to help address them.