Minister for Employment and Labour Relations Ignatius Baffour Awuah has advised parents to desist from using their children for farm works.
He said children should be given ample time to study at home to improve their academic performance, without involving them in excessive farming activities.
The minister gave the advice when he commissioned a six-unit classroom block for a Methodist Primary School at Dumesua in the Sunyani West District, Bono Region.
The six-unit classroom block with an office, a library and a computer laboratory was built at a cost of GH¢450,000 through the efforts of the Member of Parliament (MP) and the district assembly.
Addressing teachers, parents and pupils before the commissioning, Mr Baffour Awuah lamented that Ghana is being classified as one of the countries that engage in child labour and there was the need to stem the tide.
“According to a recent CNN report, Ghana is accused of engaging in child labour mainly in the agricultural sector (cocoa growing areas), the fishing industry and in the mining sector, quarry and galamsey activities. This is not the best and we must reverse it,” he said.
The minister who is also the Member of Parliament for the area (Sunyani West Constituency) emphasized that using children for hazardous work classified as child labour, retard their potential for academic work and reduces their normal growth.
“Rather I would plead with you to allow your children to patronise various community and school libraries that have been provided to improve academic work. Currently, Ghana has 1.9 children involved in child labour and out of that, 1.2 are in the worse form of child labour which seriously inhibit their potentials,” he complained, adding “this is unacceptable.”
Headmistress of the school Patricia Adjei Konadu commended the MP and the assembly for the building, and said it is going to enhance academic work, saying “before this, we were teaching four classes including KG 1, Class 2, 3 and 4 in the Methodist Chapel so we are happy for it.”