Lions Club organises training to curb child deliquency, Thursday, September 4, 2014

Kwaku (not real name) loved his books just as he loved his sports, particularly football where his dribbling skills earned him Junior Polo - an accolade after one of Ghana’s dribbling magicians in the 1980s.

However, when he began bonding with Kofi (not real name), another brilliant but stubborn pupil, everything about him changed - his academic performance slumped, he paid little attention to personal hygiene and was even rumoured to be smoking cigarette and marijuana.

For a 12-year-old basic school pupil with great prospects, this was a worse turn his teachers and parents never anticipated. In the end, he dropped out of school and joined a gang of pickpockets that terrorises passengers at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.

It is this sad tale of juvenile delinquency that a training programme being organised by the Lions Clubs International, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service, seeks to eliminate in Ghana.

What is Lions Quest?

Known as Lions Quest Ghana Skills for Adolescence Teachers Training Workshop, the two-day training programme at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) at Legon is aimed at equipping participants with skills, including essential life skills, character development and prevention of negative behaviours such as drug abuse.

The pilot project for introducing Lions Quest to Ghana is being funded with a $10,000-grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation.

Under the pilot project, 40 participants, including teachers, Parent-Teacher Associations and School Management Committee members have been selected within the Accra Metropolitan and Ga West Municipality for training. The programme is being facilitated by Ms Allen Tush Naturinda, a certified Lions Quest Trainer from Uganda.

Lions Quest helps young people develop the skills to deal with emotions constructively, make responsible decisions and set positive goals that lead to healthy, responsible lives free from the harm of drug abuse, bullying and violence.

The Deputy National Early Childhood Coordinator, Mrs Doris Gyedu-Nuako, who launched the project, said it would help in the holistic development of children as it complemented the curriculum of the GES.

“Education is not just about what happens in the classroom; moral and psychological development is also very important,” she added.

She was full of praise for the Lions of Ghana, who are members of Region 34 of District 403-A2 of Lions Clubs International.

Stakeholders speak

The Chairperson of Lions Quest, Ghana, Lion Nana Esi Parry, entreated the participants to take the workshop seriously so they could pass the information on successfully to the children.
She said if successful, the programme would be rolled out to all schools in Ghana.

A Past District Governor for District 403-A2 of Lions Clubs International, Lion (Mrs) Gloria Esi Lassey, said the programme provided high-quality, research-based classroom resources for teachers and age-appropriate learning materials for students, in addition to involving the family and community in supporting the healthy development of young children.

A participant, Mr Seth Amanor, who is also the Headmaster of the Amamorley Methodist Basic School, was optimistic that at the end of the programme, he would learn a lot to improve the lives of children in poverty stricken areas.

FACT SHEET
•        The Lions Quest has trained educators from more than 50 countries.
•        The programme has certified more than 420,000 educators worldwide.
•        Nearly 1.2 million young people have benefitted from the Lions Quest Programme.

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