IMPACT OF WINNING THE CHILDREN’S FORUM TROPHY ON OUR SCHOOL
Preparation towards the forum
A small community with a population of 845 people, Mpaem was not counted among the communities who could win the trophy for the AU Day of the African Child in Asikasu. The community has no electricity and has a school a population of about 150 children from primary to Junior High School. With all these challenges, the Child Protection Club in the school had a hard time preparing for the children’s forum which was held to mark the 2018 AU Day of the African Child in Asikasu. According to one of the facilitators of the club, Ebenezer Sasu Anim;
“It wasn’t easy to prepare the children for any of the activities we engaged in at the children’s forum. This was because most of them have never had the opportunity to engage in such an event. They were therefore reluctant to show up for rehearsals for the recital and preparation towards the quiz competition. They felt inadequate. They had the mindset that they could not do it. We really had to push to get a few of the pupils interested.”
The children surprised everyone. Not only did they put up an outstanding performance for the recitals, they scored the highest marks during the quiz competition to the joy of everyone at the forum.
‘‘Coming out victorious was a great confidence booster for them and all the members of the club. For example, that was the first time the pupils who represented the club in the quiz competition have ever had such an opportunity. The children are now pushing to speak English in school so the next time there is a similar programme, they can comfortably use the English Language. The children we had to plead with to participate in this forum are now competing with themselves to see who gets to take part in the next one. Now they all want to do it.”
Impact on the children
The opportunity the children had to participate in the forum has brought many rewards to them and the school. Ebenezer describes the atmosphere in the school since they returned with the trophy.
“Regardless of the conditions against education in this community, today, everyone came to school to congratulate us. The fact that we did not only participate in the activity but went on to win the grand prize has become an important motivation for the children in the school. Even those who were known for their truancy came to school early to see the trophy. It has become a rallying point for the children here. We even have some parents pushing for their children to go to school because they want them to also get the opportunity to win an award for the school at similar programs. The children have also improved in their learning. They have come to understand that education is just not about what happens in the classroom, you can learn in the community and the nation at large.”