Mr Alfred Dzikunoo, the Team Leader of Plan International-Ghana (Int-GH), Central Programme Unit Emergency Response, has called on Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) to create e-learning centres in their communities for children to learn while at home due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Mr Dzikunoo made the call at a training workshop for 150 PTA members selected from 30 communities in the Central Region.
Plan Int-Gh, which organised the training, is a non-governmental organisation working with its partners to support children, particularly the poor, to exercise their rights and help create safe communities for them.
Mr Dzikunoo said the workshop was to complement government efforts at ensuring a holistic development of the child.
The participants, drawn from Gomoa East, Ekumfi, Agona East, Effutu-Senya and Effutu, were trained to support children in their localities to access tuition on e-learning platforms and to offer them appropriate protection, supervision and monitoring online.
Mrs Esther Kwofie, Girl-Child Education Officer, Ekumfi District Education Office, Mr Enoch Yeboah, Central Programme Unit Child Protection Team member, and Mr Godwin Korli of Plan Int-Gh, were the resource persons.
They schooled participants on Stages of Development, Parenting during COVID-19 with focus on Education, and Child/Adolescent online protection.
Their presentation centred on the need for parents to give attention to early, middle and adolescent stages of children's development.
Mrs Kwofie stated that early, middle and adolescent stages of children's development must be given attention by parents who must understand their children's changing and emerging growth as they progressed, with its attendant physical and emotional challenges.
As educators, she said it was important for the PTAs to be aware that the structures and expectations of schooling influenced the ways in which children grew and learnt.
"Parenting has always been tough, but home schooling and all the financial uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 has made it even tougher" she said, and called on parents to aid the growth of their children.
On Child/Adolescents online protection, Mr Yeboah said it was about time parents helped their children to go online to do educative research, boost their creativity, learnt new skills, be abreast of current technological trends and seek information.
He encouraged the participants to use the skills and knowledge acquired to sensitise their community members, especially parents, to take active interest in what their children did online to keep them protected.
"They need your love and protection online as much as they do in the real world, what they are exposed to online depend on how they use it and in that regard, parents should not hesitate to challenge their children to learn about e-safety," he said.
Later the participants, five from each community, came out with action plans to be implemented within three months and also signed declaration forms to partner Plan Int-Gh to execute their objectives towards the proper growth of children in their communities.