The Ministry of Education Youth and Sport (MEYS) in collaboration with UNICEF has organized a six days workshop at the Home Economic Center at Nyandeyama road in Kenema for Paramount chiefs and other traditional rulers in the Kenema district to deliberate on the Child Right Act passed in parliament.
Addressing participants at the opening session, the Deputy Director of Education for Kenema district John Amara Swaray welcomed participants and extended thanks and appreciation to the paramount chiefs for honouring their invitation at a short notice.
Mr. Swaray disclosed that the motive behind the workshop is to fully deliberate on the promotion of the rights of a child that is compatible with the one recently passed in Parliament and to be able to make their own bye laws that is convenient for their various chiefdoms in the district.
He said that government and other agencies especially UNICEF thought it necessary to work with chiefs and other stakeholders in the country so that they can combine their own opinions and effort to bring up children in a better way.
Mr. Swaray said the development of any country would be determined by the children based on the quality of education they receive.
He maintained that the workshop will service training ground to educate the parents and chiefs to fully know the rights of children in the country and what parents need to provide for them, and the responsibilities of the child for their own benefit and the benefit of the country.
In his contribution the Paramount chief of Langurama chiefdom Prince Mambu Pewa commended the initiative of government and UNICEF for considering the chiefs and other stakeholders on the Child Rights Act.
Paramount Chief Pewa appealed to education officers in the district to monitor teachers properly as most of them do not go to schools on time. He appealed to his colleague’s chiefs and other authorities in the district to take the workshop seriously so that at the end they will come up with good result that will help the entire country.
In his statement the UNICEF Representative in Kenema William Banya described the workshop as significant and timely especially for the involvement of the Paramount Chiefs as they are the custodians of the land.
Mr. Banya disclosed that UNICEF is there to complement the effort of government adding that UNICEF is primarily responsible for children and women especially pregnant and suckling mothers in the country. He said UNICEF is working in partnership with the government to ensure that children are properly taking care of by their parents and the community, as they are the future backbone of the country. He appealed to the chiefs and other authorities in the country not to only make bye laws but to also see that they enforce those laws properly, he caution them not to comprise matters especially matters that damages the future of a child, adding that the messages of the bye laws reach the last person in the community.