The General Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU) of Trades Union Congress (TUC), has stressed the need for a child-friendly education and communication materials on COVID-19 to enable young people to absorb.
This, according to GAWU, is the surest way to protect and save children from contracting the disease.
Mr Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe, Deputy General Secretary of GAWU, who made the call said though children were currently at home, they were still exposed to the virus since their parents go out to work every day.
There was, therefore, the need to develop educational and communication materials that would help children understand and appreciate the dangers of the virus while at the same time taken precautionary measures to protect themselves.
Mr Tagoe made the call when a team from the Union visited some cocoa-growing communities in the Afigya-Kwabre North and the Atwima-Nwabiagya South Districts in the Ashanti region.
The tour formed part of activities marking this year’s World Day against Child Labour, which was held on June 12, this year, on the theme “COVID – 19, Protect Children from Child Labour now more than ever, the role of Trade Unions”.
The communities were Boamang and Nerebehi.
The aim was to engage the chiefs, farmers, teachers, assembly members, school management committees, parents and other key stakeholders on the need to protect their children against the COVID-19 pandemic and all forms of hazardous work, which could affect the health, safety and education of children.
It was also to help inaugurate a local committee to ensure that children stayed at home with the necessary protection against the COVID-19.
GAWU with support from FNV – Mondial in the Netherlands and the government also presented a Public Address System with child-friendly songs to the communities.
Mr Tagoe said the Union had worked to withdrawn and supported over 300 children from child labour in cocoa-growing communities and enrolled them in schools while helping to promote decent work in the cocoa supply value chain.
He said the National Plan against Child labour, which had been launched by the government aimed at developing Child Labour Free Zones by providing sustainable livelihoods such as snail rearing, bread baking, soap making and grasscutter rearing for some identified cocoa farmers to improve on their living conditions.
Mr Karikari Achemfour, District Chief Executive (DCE) for Afigya Kwabre North said one of the key priority of the Assembly was to promote quality education and protection of children against child labour.
He said the assembly would continue to support initiatives aimed at protecting and promoting the welfare of children in the district.
Mr Paul Ansah, a cocoa farmer in the area and Madam Barbara Amoah of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) of COCOBOD at Offinso called on the government to rehabilitate roads and schools in the communities to help open up the communities and improve the quality of education of cocoa farmers in rural communities.