Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) Dr. John Kwaku Mensah Mawutor has bemoaned the high spate at which child beggars are flooding the streets of the country’s major cities, in the full glare of the authorities responsible to curb such an eyesore on the streets.
He made this assertion in an interview with Berla Mundi on the New Day show on TV3, Tuesday, April 20.
Dr. Mawutor said, “if you care to know, for every phenomenon, there are some benefits derived by people, for me, I think it’s a new form of child labour in our country, where you have parents sitting, they’ll come and sit with their children, instruct them, direct the children to go and beg, child labour, this is a serious crime against our laws”.
“On my way coming, when I listened to my good friend here, he was so emphatic that, inasmuch as we think that they are foreigners, the question we ask is that, do we have any provision for immigrants in this country? And have we done any survey to verify that these children are foreigners? The answer I can give you is, we have not done anything, because they speak our local dialect, some speak our Northern language, some speak Ewe, some speak Ga.
“So here we are, confronted with this problem, it’s a social problem that we need to tackle as a country, now who is responsible for the social welfare system in the country?
“We are talking about the Gender Ministry, we could even say that these social welfare systems fall within its purview, what are they doing all these years? It’s just like the normal way, the media will come out with some stories we talk about for one week and it’s done but there must be a comprehensive policy on how to harness them. For me, I see talents, others see beggars” he asserted.
He went to say that, “I see the youth, the future leaders of this country, you know Ghanaian immigrants in other countries will be harnessed by those countries because of the stringent welfare policies they have in there, so if you have a problem you can even register your children, where the government will take care of your children, some will grow to become great footballers in their respective countries and Ghana will end up going to beg them to come and play for our national team”.
“I don’t see this as a problem but I see it as future talents in this country, immigrants or not, they need help, they need help. What we have to do as a country, look we have an educational system, the FCUBE you mentioned, compulsory, mandatory education for children and the laws are there, so parents can be prosecuted for not allowing their children to go to school. Do we have any system in place to make sure all these children are mandatorily taken off the streets and given some schools and shelter?”
“Look it’s our responsibility, these are the challenges associated with children when it comes to harnessing their skills at a younger age and then train them and also see how you can streamline their growth in our system. The other one is the danger, the demigods we’re breathing in this country, we are creating them, I don’t know whether you drive late in the evenings, those who will come and wipe your windscreen and all that, sometimes you feel threatened when they come closer to you” he charged.
“And I’ve heard some few stories that some of them will pick phones from your car and all that and you only have to, in fact, for me I’m so friendly, some of them will see me and rush to my car, I mean it’s a ritual thing and I end up chatting with some of them. You could see they come from very poor homes, it tells you the failure of our social welfare system in this country”.
By Barima Kwabena Yeboah|3news.com|Ghana