UNICEF reports on child-friendly schools in Ghana that are breaking the cycle of child labor.
Child-Friendly Schools Re-Invent Education in Rural Ghana Narrator: Elizabeth is the eldest of the four Naparis children still at home, a daughter in a culture that traditionally priced as sons. Peter Naparis: Elizabeth is good in school. So I am determined to help her succeed in education. Narrator: Peter makes sure his daughter and her siblings go to school each and every day. But at this child-friendly school, the emphasis is as much on girls as it is on boys. Traditionally in this village, girls get married not educated. Biikook Gideon Konlan: The parents would say that, “When your daughter becomes a woman in your home, then the next month, she should be married.” Narrator: Outside the open air classes, village life to its past. Keeping children in school is a major battle for educators in Ghana. Less than half of the men from this area are educated. Biikook Gideon Konlan: Without education, you have to just till the land or you become a laborer at down south to weed under the coco farm or in the mines. Narrator: But child-friendly schools are striking at the heart of this problem. -- battle is an attractive and relevant curriculum. Education is free in Ghana but that doesn’t mean there aren't heavy costs for families. Elizabeth Naparis: This one is my notebook in English. Narrator: The greatest sacrifice though, maybe the loss of the child’s labor. Helping is the amount of daily chores that directly related to freeing kids up for school and fetching water is one of the most intensive chores of all. Here, UNICEF has made an invaluable contribution to the community by providing ample clean water through wells. At school, there are also two wells, also separate toilets for girls and boys. Elizabeth and her best friend Naomi diligently practice the good hygiene they are learning at school. Naomi: Our teachers taught us how to wash our hands before eating because if you didn’t wash your hands and go home and you sit to eat, we will get disease from that. Elizabeth D’Sousa: Whatever she learns in school has effects in the home and this is for the benefits for the parents and for the other siblings. The child is not just living for today but every child has a future. Elizabeth Naparis: I want to be a doctor because there is no hospital or a doctor in this village. Narrator: School is giving Elizabeth a place to grow her dreams. You’ve been watching UNICEF Television. For more information, go to unicef.org. Unite for children.